Ethnic Groups Essay

Submitted By HeatherHunt11
Words: 843
Pages: 4

Many Irish immigrated to the United States after the potato famine of 1845-1848 (Schaefer, 2006). They did so in order to escape certain death that would come to them in their homeland of Ireland. Within a five year period over one million Irish immigrants ventured to the new land to escape starvation and disease (Baba, 1990). Upon arrival to the United States they were not met with a warm reception. Many moved to areas of the city that lacked sewage and running water. They lived in crowed spaces where more than one family would reside (Immigration…Irish). As more Irish came to America, the stronger the anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment became. Violence broke out across the land that led to death and the burning of Catholic churches (Schaefer, 2006). The arrival of the Irish brought back the feelings that some people had over in Europe which caused them to leave. Many employers took to mixing the various immigrant groups in order to help prevent an uprising if the groups were together (Schaefer, 2006). The Irish suffered and inflicted many racial tensions. Many businesses would post signs on their doors instructing the Irish not to come in. They would be taunted on the streets and were looked upon as being dirty, lazy, and stupid mainly because of how they lived. While many of the dominant “White” Americans displayed much prejudice towards the Irish, the Irish displayed anti-Black sentiment (Immigration…Irish). They were opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation because they were competing for the jobs. If the slaves were to be freed they would lose out on many of the jobs they were currently working. The competition for these jobs caused hatred and fighting between the two groups. The competition for work increased tensions between the classes. Irish Americans were often provoked by groups like the American Protective Association and the Ku Klux Klan (Immigration…Irish). The Irish were not offered the prestigious jobs; instead they worked the hardest and most dangerous ones. The ones that no one else wanted to do and that paid the least amount of money. In the early 20th century West Virginia coal companies terminated many union jobs in order to hire Irish, Italian, and African-American people due to the company felt they “owned” them (Immigration…Irish). The Irish were a subject of racial discrimination, not only because of the fact they were Irish Immigrants but because most of them were Catholics. Although, they were discriminated against, they had many prejudices of their own. There was much animosity between them and African-Americans, which caused violence to break out. Instead of two minority groups coming together they fought each other. The Irish have come a long way since their initial immigration to America. The glass ceiling, glass wall theory was true for the Irish as well as many other groups. They went from only being able to get a job that no one else wanted to becoming President of the United States. Today the Irish have equal opportunities when it comes to housing, jobs, and they do not face the same discrimination as other ethnic groups. The Irish did suffer from redlining and were often forced to live in deplorable conditions. Many lived in the slums without