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Immigrant groups. The Irish. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815, most of Europe was mired down in conflict Ireland, which had been under English control since the 12 th century, fed the armies of Europe

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the irish
The Irish

As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815, most of Europe was mired down in conflict

Ireland, which had been under English control since the 12th century, fed the armies of Europe

Farmers planted every available acre leading to temporary prosperity for even the tenant farmers

After 1815, war-inflated prices were reduced and land-lords insisted that vast fields of land lay unplanted

The peasant class was then pushed from the farmlands and forced to find work in either England or the U.S.

the irish potato famine
In 1845, a potato blight resulted in famine in Ireland

By 1850, one million Irish had died and another million sailed for the United States

Most Irish immigrants were young and literate in English

The majority were under 35 years of age

The young strong sons would be sent to make money and then help to pay the fares of the other family members in Ireland

Most Irish immigrants remained in the seaport cities of the Northeast coming into conflict with the harsh realities of industrialized cities and other immigrant groups or American poor

The Irish Potato Famine
the irish in america
The Irish in America

Economic progress was slow for the Irish immigrants

Many men worked as day laborers in construction jobs while Irish women found jobs as domestic servants or in industrial factories

Eventually Irish saloon owners and boardinghouses were opened in Irish sections of Northeastern cities

the irish as roman catholics
The Irish as Roman Catholics

The Roman Catholicism of the Irish became the cornerstone of the social community

Most other American ethnic groups were Protestant

Throughout the 1800s the poor Irish worked within community parishes to raise money and build parish schools for their children

The Catholic school system in America is due in large part to the consorted efforts of the Irish immigrants to separate their children from the teachings of and the prejudice from the Protestant establishment in the U.S.

the irish in politics
The Irish in Politics
  • The Irish immigrants had experienced centuries of persecution under English rule offering them the need to organize themselves politically
  • That political system readied them for the boss system of the political machines operating in growing American cities
  • The political boss would supply immigrants with jobs, housing, food and coal all in return for votes
  • The Irish became a strong force within the Democratic party
the irish in politics1
The Irish in Politics
  • City jobs in construction, sanitation, and law enforcement eventually led to white collar jobs and political positions such as Honey Fitzgerald, Mayor of Boston from 1906-1914
  • He was the maternal grandfather of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy and the rest of the Kennedy political dynasty
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected president of the United States in 1960 and was the first (and last) Roman Catholic president.