Irish Immigrants and Their Struggles Shelby Stauble ETH/125 3/21/10 Twyler Earl The Irish people left Ireland and immigrated to America to enjoy a better life, get away from the poverty and starvation that they were faced with in Ireland due to the potato famine. They face all kinds of discrimination and were forced to take the worst types of jobs, but they never gave up and kept fighting for their freedom. The Irish were brave, courageous, and hardworking and made it possible for all Irish to live happy and free lives in America.
The Irish immigrated to the United States starting in 1820, more came after 1820 due to the potato famine which started in 1845, rotting of the potato crops caused thousands of deaths due to starvation. The Irish were forced to leave their country because they had no money nor did they have any way to eat. Between 1820 and 1880 3. 5 million Irish immigrated to the United States to ease their suffering and in hope of a brighter future. (Immigration, n. d. ). A lot of the Irish who set out for America in hopes of a better life knew that immigrating to America would not be a completely joyous occasion.
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The Irish left Ireland to get away from the poverty, disease, and oppression and knew they would never set eyes on Ireland again. The ships the Irish were placed on to come to America were known as coffin ships because of their terrible conditions due to the overcrowding of the ships. Once the Irish arrived to America they were greeted with large men who took the Irish’s bags and forced them to live in tenement houses where they were charged outrageous fees to stay. The Irish were noted as the lowest group of people in America during the 1950’s. (Kinsellas, 1996).
The Irish were treated poorly because Americans viewed them as bad influences for neighborhoods; they were forced to live in shacks and could not find jobs because most work places did not want the Irish working at their establishments. According to Kinsellas (1996), the Chicago post wrote “The Irish fill our prisons, our poor houses… Scratch a convict or a pauper, and the chances are that you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic. Putting them on a boat and sending them home would end crime in this country. “(para. 4). Although the Irish were put down by Americans they never gave up and continued to press on.
They were discriminated against but stuck together which helped them survive in America. The Irish face all types of discrimination; for example, environmental justice issues, meaning they were placed in terrible environments, such as the shacks they lived in and the boats they were brought to America on. They faced redlining, meaning they were denied certain job position and were forced to pay a large amount of money for housing. They double jeopardy because they were Irish and catholic, the Americans saw this as two good reasons to treat the Irish poorly.
The Irish faced institutional discrimination they were not given the same jobs and or opportunities that the average American was given because the American people felt as though the Irish were a terrible group of people. The Irish were given the worst jobs America had to offer and only because those jobs were the only ones offered to them. They faced class ceiling discrimination because the Irish were unable to move on to better positions at their place of work. The Irish were given the most terrible jobs and even though the American people thought the Irish were good workers they were still unable to move up in their jobs.
I chose the Irish people for both assignments but I feel that I do identify with the Irish culture in many ways. I never have had to deal with the major discrimination they faced and I must thank my ancestors for that because if it were not for all of their courage and strength I would not be able to enjoy the life I have today. I am a very hard worker just like my ancestors were and I am proud to be able to say my ancestors worked hard for me to be able to continue living in America. The Irish were hated by many but eventually gained the respect of the Americans by proving they were hard workers and would never give up on being accepted.
The Irish never let the discrimination they face get them down; they stuck together and did what they had to do to survive. It may have been a long road but the Irish were eventually accepted because of their hard work ethics and good attitudes. References Kinsellas. (1996). Irish Immigrants in America during the 19th century. Retrieved from http://www. kinsella. org/history/histira. htm Immigration. (n. d. ). Immigration The Journey To America. Retrieved from http://library. thinkquest. org/20619/Irish. html