Being Irish American has always been an a source of pride as an individual but historically being Irish in America was not something that people could hold their heads high about. The Irish were considered lowlifes and at times were treated worse the Blacks, who were once keeps as slaves (Schaefer, 2006). The major influx of Irish immigration to the United States began as a result of the potato crop failure and famine in Ireland. During the immigration period nearly one million Irish arrived in America (Gone to America, 2000). Irish immigrates arrived in Boston and New York City and migrated to other cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago and Pittsburgh.
The early Irish settlers in the United States emigrated from Ireland. Most people left Ireland for similar reasons. The largest amounts of Irish people were being forced out of their homeland due to the potato famine in the 1840’s. The idea of coming to America not only gave them hopes for a new beginning but for many was their own chance at survival. With failing crops and illness threatening the land families were unable to pay their rent and keep a roof over their head. Others were having their land taken from them because of the religious wars going on in the country and had no where else to go.
Decades ago, immigrants made their way to the United States to better them and basically start their lives over from scratch. Irish immigrants suffered majorly from poverty and famine. Nearly millions of Irish immigrants ventured their way to America only to find out they were not wanted. Americans viewed those immigrants as dangerous people, mainly because they were of Roman Catholic faith. (Teaching Modules)
Because of this, close to two million refugees fled Western Europe to come to North America to try to escape the famine that ravaged their homelands. Nearly one million of these immigrants came from Ireland where the impact of the blight was felt the hardest. From the moment the Irish landed in Boston, they were subject to poor living conditions and inability to earn a livable wage. In New York, they faced a better reception, but were often taken advantage of by “runners,” or people who promised them aid when they came into the country. The immigrants were promised a place to stay, food to eat, and a place to house their belongings but received only horrible living conditions that were torn away from them when their money ran out and their possessions were retained as
Both of these things hurt the new Irish immigrants once they arrived in America. The Irish faced many issues and prejudices when they arrived in America. One of these issues was poverty. Irish immigrants had little to no money when they arrived and because they had no money they had trouble getting out of the cities and slums. When they arrived they needed a job right away and the hard, low paying jobs were the ones they often would find.
Context Putting something in a time and place. What would affect the context? Culture Economy Government Society/social views Authors background Personal experiences HistoricalSocio-economic | GeographicalSetting | LiteraryCanonical | BiographicalWhat happened in his life | Canon of literature: Stands the test of time for example Shakespeare Johnathan Swift 1667-1745 Was a Politian Irish Text: Modest Proposal 1729 Context of essay Johnathan was unhappy with the way the English were treating the Irish due to the great potato famine. Since the climate and soil made it difficult to grow grains, more than a million Irish people died of starvation because they were no alternate foods available as potatoes were
Intense rivalry quickly developed between the Irish and working class Bostonians over these jobs. In Ireland, a working man might earn eight cents a day. In America, he could earn up to a dollar a day, a tremendous improvement. Bostonians feared being undercut by hungry Irish willing to work for less than the going rate. Their resentment, combined with growing anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment among all classes in Boston led to 'No Irish Need Apply' signs being posted in shop windows, factory gates and workshop doors throughout the city.
Martha E. Vargas Prof. Donna Giordano Modern American History HS 104 How the Other Half Lives Jacob A Riis was born in Denmark on May 3, 1849. He came to America in 1870 in search of a better life. The first three years in America were difficult for him because he was unable to find a permanent job and was often forced to spend the night in police lodging houses having no money and nowhere else to go. Feeling overwhelmed with the situation he came to understand and sympathize with the immigrants who were forced to become beggars, drunks, criminals or simply the worse of the poor only because they were victims of the conditions of living to which they had no other option. In 1873 he found a job as a reporter for the New York News Association and then for the South Brooklyn News.
Many were turned down at an immigration station: Angel Island, while others were pushed out of finding gold and forced to work degrading jobs. They were looked at as an unwanted completion by native-born Americans, in1882 the Chinese Execution Act was passed banning Chinese labors to immigrate. Approximately 5 million Germans, as well as 1 million Irish immigrants made the journey to the United States in the 19th century. Majority of the Irish immigrants went to New York or Massachusetts, most German immigrants spread around the Midwest for farming. Unlike the Irish the Germans had more money to take them further in America.
The 1882 immigration Act levied a 50 cents tax on all aliens landing on United States ports: making the land of the free, not free. Many immigrants traveled from far distances and were already escaping poverty or persecution from their homeland and many had spent all their money to reach the shore o the USA e.g. Irish immigrants; an estimate of over 2,800,000 went to America. Many of the Irish were too poor to buy land and many would have perished on the sea journey to America. The Act denied those who had traveled far access to America: An attack on immigrants due to their social class, denying the poor class of immigrants to America: Many Americans had the view that immigrants were inferior.