Irish Immigration Paper 2014

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Words: 3083
Pages: 13

Irish Immigration

Christian Jones
American Immigration and Emigration
CRN 2872
November 19, 2014

Many immigrants from all over the world decided that they want to come to America to try and start their life over and hopefully prosper in this foreign land. Many other immigrants however didn’t have an advantage that the Irish had. They seemed to already have a start ahead of the Germans, Italians, and Asians. It seemed that it was much easier for the Irish to assimilate into American culture manly because they looked like most Americans which was white and spoke English just with an accent. May of the other immigrants either didn’t look white or had to learn how to speak English. Also with Ireland being so close to Britain they shared similar culture practices and since America was a British colony at one point some of British culture is engrained into the American way of life. Irish have been coming to America for a very long time to try and escape the massive poverty that engulfed much of the land and the people. We can see that much of the poverty that was over in Ireland followed many people because many Irish didn’t have a trade or any skills, they just worked on farms. For many of the Irish country folk, everything that was so pleasant back home they tried to remember but this would be soon gone as many of their kids began to Americanize by trying to fulfill the American dream that many of their parents stop chasing after. So the struggle they had in Ireland was now their struggle on foreign soil and they wanted to chase the American dream, some were successful while many weren’t but you can see in history how the Irish helped build America, through labor, power and fear. This dream made and broke a lot of Irishman and due to this many lived very different lifestyles, but one thing that they all had in common was that they brought the heritage of the Irish to America and engrain it, in some of the culture and building that we see today in many cities such as Boston, buffalo and Chicago. It was a struggle for many to come here but once they did many of these cities because diverse in culture the Irish became diverse in the society of America.
Between 1845 and 1852 the Great Famine struck Ireland all over and caused devastation across the land. In the worst year of 1847 many of the Irish peasants were being evicted from their homes and couldn’t find a place to live. One woman named Bridget Nolan wrote to her son “This is the poorest winter that ever I had since I began the world, without house nor home nor a bit of food to eat. The potato crops have failed again, and all Ireland is dying, your sisters are fainting with starvation, and we are without friend or fellow to give us a sibling. For god’s sake, have pity on us! On my two bended knees I pray—Take us out of this gulf of misery and save us from the hunger”. This puts a vivid picture into your head on how bad things were. While reading her this you can sense the desperation and sense how bad things were for many. She was just one among half a million that were evicted to which the Irish call it “The Great Hunger” and this was one of the reasons of the mass Irish immigration to America, they didn’t have any other options other than to stay and starve. With many leaving so did many of the Irish speaking, in 1901 only about 14 percent of Ireland still spoke their native language. But the Great Famine wasn’t the stop of immigration to America, from 1861 to 1926 four million Irish, mostly Catholics. This amount of Catholic migrants you can imagine didn’t fair to well in American because the majority who practiced religion were protestant and had some sort of British Heritage since it was a British colony at one point. While many were able to migrate away from their problems in Ireland many faced new and similar problems in America. However all of these new problems started in the shipyards of England where many had to leave from mainly in Liverpool. Since