What Problems Do The Landsdowne Irish Face In America

Submitted By zinzugirl
Words: 898
Pages: 4

What problems do the “Landsdowne Irish” face in America and how do they adapt to the new conditions of New York? How does the editorial from the Massachusetts teacher propose to deal with the problem of immigration? Why was Morse so opposed to Irish immigration and how do his views compare to immigration debates today?

The Landsdowne Irish suffered through a rough famine back in Ireland and immigrated to New York with hopes of a better life. However, when arriving to places like “Five Points” neighborhood, it was the “decrepit slum in North America,” (Binder 213). A problem the Irish faced in America was that they were unable to find a job, therefore not having an income for their families. After years of being unemployed, they were willing to take any jobs they can have, even if it is the lowly jobs. With attempt to adapt these brand new conditions, the Irish took jobs by becoming laborers or becoming a “washerwomen”. It is said that a “laborers life was thus one of the hardest, most dangerous, and most finically precarious in Five Points… nearly every male Lansdowne immigrant found himself forced to take such work,” (Binder 218). These undesirable jobs became to extent of becoming dangerous; but were the only things available for the Irish to make a living. With the whole family working, even children, the Irish were able to barely pass by. Children were able to do small jobs such as shining shoes to help their families. Living conditions were not ideal as well as they were the “worst in this miserable district” (Binder 215). Five Points were mainly occupied by the Landsdowne Irish and they all lived in such small spaces, crammed by so many people. Although Five Points had horrible living conditions, they were a lot better than the ones back in Ireland. The Irish chose to immigrate here and adapt to their new living environments, regardless the hardship, as they know it would be a lot better than back in their homeland. In addition, they chose to live here as “they could afford nothing else,” (Binder 217), again taking any job that they could. The Landsdowne Irish was slowly able to open savings accounts and save up money for attempts to live a prosperous life and eventually being able to move out Five Points. In the editorial from the Massachusetts, the teacher made it evident that immigrants should not be able to easily leave the harsh “old world” to come to the prosperous America. He believes that the vast amount of immigration would cause a “serious alarm to the most intelligent of our own people.” Here he is saying that due to the immigration, it would then cause competition and much more trouble in America. However the teacher deals with the problem of immigration by attempting to convert the immigrants so they can “purify this foreign people, enlighten their ignorance, and bring them to our own level.” By converting and changing the immigrants, they could be more like Americans themselves, therefore resolving much more conflict. The teacher’ mission is where “every Christian, every patriot, every philanthropist is bound to work; a mission of far greater importance to the universal welfare and improvement of the whole human race than all others save one.” By the immigrants being Christian and more American, it would solve more complications and therefore being able to tolerate the immigrants. However, while the Germans would give no