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Irish Americans. By Larissa, Allie, Nikki, Katie. Ireland’s Geography. Ireland is located in Far Western Europe in the North Atlantic Ocean Ireland’s greatest length- 485 km (302 miles) Widest Point- 304 km (189 miles) There is 5, 361 km (3, 500 miles) of coastline .

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irish americans

Irish Americans


Larissa, Allie, Nikki, Katie

ireland s geography
Ireland’s Geography
  • Ireland is located in Far Western Europe in the North Atlantic Ocean
  • Ireland’s greatest length- 485 km (302 miles)
  • Widest Point- 304 km (189 miles)
  • There is 5, 361 km (3, 500 miles) of coastline
geography continued
Geography Continued…
  • Across the South, West, Northwest and East are mountain ranges.
    • The South-Sandstone Mountains of Cork and Kerry.
    • The West and Northwest- Granite Mountains and sea cliffs which stretch along the coast.
  • The Northeast- plateaus
  • In the center of the country, there is rolling countryside
ireland s climate
Ireland’s Climate
  • Spring and Autumn Temperatures
          • Averages 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Summer Temperatures
          • Ranges from 60 -70 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Winter Temperatures
          • Ranges from 40-46 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Average Rainfall- 40 inches a year
  • Population- 3,294,140 people
  • Age Structure
      • 0-14 years: 21.2% (male 427,017; female 404,191)
      • 15-64 years: 67.4% (male 1,322,982; female 1,322,429)
      • 65 years and over: 11.4% (male 194,724; female 252,797)
  • Language Spoken
      • Irish (Gaelic-along western seaboard)
      • English is mainly used
  • Religion
      • Roman Catholic- 90%
      • Protestant group-10%
          • Church of Ireland (Anglican)
          • Presbyterian and Methodist religions
major time periods
Major Time Periods
  • The Prefamine Period- years before 1845
  • The Famine Period- years 1845-1855
  • The Postfamine Period- years 1855 to the present
reasons for immigration
Reasons for Immigration
  • The religious persecution of the Catholics in Ireland
  • The restriction of Irish economic development
  • The presence of industrialization
how they got here who came to the u s and what jobs did they do
How they got here, Who came to the U.S. and What jobs did they do?
  • American ships carried raw materials to England and on the return trip, brought back emigrants from Ireland.
  • The immigrants were mostly Catholic males.
  • They were farmers, laborers, and military and religious protestors.
  • They worked to dig the Erie Canal in New York and worked on railways, streets, and sewers.
  • They worked as carpenters and as blacksmiths.
where did they live
Where did they live?
  • The immigrants, during the prefamine period, settled mostly in the northeast.
  • Major ports of entry were Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston.
  • By 1840, the Irish made up nearly half of all entering immigrants.
reason for immigration and how they got to the u s
Reason for Immigration and How they got to the U.S.
  • The Potato Famine
  • The Irish crowded onto ships

called “coffin ships.”

who came to the u s and what jobs did they do
Who came to the U.S. and What jobs did they do?
  • Mostly Irish families rather than single people came to the U.S. in the famine period.
  • Jobs were hard to find. However, clearing forests in Michigan and digging gold in California were popular jobs.
where did they live16
Where did they live?
  • During the famine period, the Irish settled in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.
  • Some immigrants moved out west.
  • The famine period was the period in time in which the MOST Irish immigrated to the United States at one specific time.
  • About one and a half million Irish came to the United States in the famine period.
reasons for immigration19
Reasons for Immigration
  • Failing economic conditions
  • Increased political domination
who came to the u s what jobs did they do and where did they settle
Who came to the U.S., What jobs did they do, and Where did they settle?
  • During the postfamine period, more single females came than males or families.
  • They became religious sisters, secretaries, nurses, and store clerks.
  • They settled all over the United States.
  • After 1860, more than 2.6 million Irish came to the United States.
  • From 1880 to 1910, the ratio of males to females immigrating to the U.S. was .98 to 1.
  • By 1910, Irish women made up about a quarter of teachers working in public schools in American cities.
food and drink
Food and Drink
  • Agriculture is a vital part of the economy
  • Breakfast is a huge meal
      • Consists of eggs, rashers (bacon), bangers (sausage), baked fresh tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, white pudding, black pudding, fresh fruit, brown bread, or toast, or scones
      • Juice or coffee
  • Lunch- soups and sandwiches are popular
  • Dinner is the largest meal
      • Lamb is used in many recipes
          • Irish Stew
          • Roast Leg of Lamb
      • Beef is the traditional Sunday roast
      • Potatoes are important part of diet
      • For dessert-
          • homemade Soda Bread
          • Brown Bread
  • Home-brewed beverages, such as tea is popular
  • Beer, whiskey, and cider are important drinks to the Irish
st patrick s day
St. Patrick’s Day
  • Celebrated on March 17th
  • Not an official holiday in U.S.
  • In Ireland= religious holiday
      • It is the day that people honor the man who brought the Roman Catholic religion to Ireland
  • Green is of Irish tradition
      • many people wear clothing of green, color their hair green, and restaurants add green food coloring to beer on this holiday
  • Famous meal is corn-beef, cabbage, and potatoes
  • Parades and Celebrations are common
      • New York City’s parade is the biggest
      • Hundreds of thousands of people march for eight kilometers along Fifth Avenue.
      • Millions of others gather along the street to watch
wedding traditions
Wedding Traditions
  • Claddagh rings
      • shaped as a heart, held by two hands with a crown
      • The heart reflects love, the hands reflect faith, and the crown reflects honor
      • right hand with heart facing fingernail= single
      • left hand with the heart facing fingernail= not married, but taken
      • left hand with crown facing fingernail=marriage
  • Wedding Dress
      • traditional blue dress, signifying luck.
      • Recently, Irish brides tend to wear off-white
  • Hair
      • Braided hair because this is considered a “sacred way to keep feminine power and luck”
christmas traditions
Christmas Traditions
  • Candle in the Window on Christmas Eve
      • It is a symbol to welcome Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter
      • Candle is lit by the youngest member of the family
  • Holly on Doors
      • Considered bad luck if taken down before January 6th (Little Christmas)
  • Irish Ornaments
      • shamrocks, pigs, leprechauns and bright emerald green glass ornaments with Irish messages on them
  • Irish Christmas Meals
      • Spiced beef (traditional)
      • turkey, ham, stuffing, and many vegetables
      • Dessert- mince pies, Christmas pudding, and brandy or rum sauce
as soon as irish came to america they jumped into politics
As soon as Irish came to America they jumped into politics
  • Was an opportunity that they did not have in Ireland
  • Was a job for a self made man
  • Gave them an advantage, control in a new land

-Need job and security

the irish mostly became democrats
The Irish mostly became democrats
  • When first came the Federalists (Whigs) did not like them

-Saw them as wild and rude people

-Threat to their power

  • Passed Acts such as Naturalization, Alien and Sedition Acts

-First charged was Matthew Lyon

one of first irishman in politics is a man named michael walsh
Ran for congressman as democrat against the Whigs

-Cut to the point, rough, and sarcastic

Spartan band

-Gain votes and support

1851 won a seat in congress

1859 died

One of first Irishman in politics is a man named Michael Walsh
political machines
Most Irishmen in politics worked at the local level of government

would form political machines

2 advantages over other immigrants

-Already knew English language

-Familiar with American culture

Machines had a citywide leader called a boss

Next in power were the precinct captains

-Put in power by the boss

-Usually was a patronage job

-They were assigned zones (neighborhoods), they were responsible for getting the vote for their boss

Political machines
political machines continued
Political Machines continued
  • Last there was the public who supports the machines

-Usually the machines supplied some kind of service to the people in return for their support

-Before welfare was popular would help out the poor

-Provided immigrants with social services and jobs in return for their votes

mayor richard j daley
Mayor Richard J. Daley
  • The last well-known political machine leader in power
  • The first Chicago Mayor to be elected for four consecutive four-year terms
  • Known for the political machine to have aided in electing John F. Kennedy in 1960
  • known for being extremely tolerant of corruption
  • Daley relayed heavily on his precinct captain
  • suprisingly honest for a machine leader

-perosnal honesty was never successfully questioned