Discrimination and Prejudice Endured by Early Irish Immigrants

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Discrimination and Prejudice Endured by Early Irish Immigrants

Candance Miles 9034484288

ETH/125

10-30-2011

Malcolm Shannon

Irish immigration to the United States was prominent after 1845-1848 due to a famine in Ireland. The Irish were seeking survival but endured many hardships because of prejudices against the Catholic religion. The Irish were also subject to face segregation and racism. Their daily lives were affected by redlining, double jeopardy, dual labor markets, glass ceilings, reverse discrimination, and institutional discrimination. These conditions made life for the Irish immigrants not only difficult but unbearable at times.

The immigrants were not only treated badly because of xenophobia but also because they were Catholic. The Irish were forced to live in unfit conditions and only with other Irish. They lived mostly in very small quarters, sometimes basements that flooded, and with no lights or water, and were expected to pay unreasonable rates. This led to sickness, disease, and even death for many. They lived in shame and poverty and were considered to be the lowliest of groups in America. It seemed as though these conditions would not change because of the discrimination when it came to employment (Histira, 1996, p. 11).

The Irish were considered uneducated and unworthy. The search for jobs led to dead ends and endless signs posted saying, “Irish need not apply”. Many Irish found themselves begging or in prison. They were left taking low paying dangerous jobs building bridges, canals, and railroads. The women also worked as chambermaids, cooks, and caretakers of children. There were already so few jobs that when came to freeing the slaves, the Irish acted out in violence for fear that the blacks would take unskilled jobs away from them. This was contrary considering it was the whites and not the blacks that put them in the situation that they were in, and the Irish were thought to be worse than blacks...
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