American Military University
Journey to America
Story of the Irish in Antebellum America
HS101 - US History to 1877
William J. McMonigle - 3055083
Friday, October 28, 2005
When many think of the times of immigration, they tend to recall the Irish Immigration and with it comes the potato famine of the 1840s' however, they forget that immigrants from the Emerald Isle also poured into America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The assimilation and immigration of the Irish has been difficult for each group that has passed through the gates of Ellis Island or South Boston. Like every group that came to America, the Irish were looked down upon; yet, in the face of discrimination, political, social and economic oppression, the Irish have been a testament to the American Dream as their influence in the political and business world increases with each generation. The tradition and family upbringings of the Irish culture has served as the bridge to allow the "great race" to both prosper and persevere through the hardest of times. Although Irish immigrants were mixed into and not originally part of American culture, they enriched their new country with their cultural contributions, active participation in politics, and their wealth of influential individuals.
The antebellum period in America was a hard time for all that lived, native born and those coming to America shared in the labors and hardships equally. Irish immigrants however, seemed to have struggled a little more. Many were regarded as inferior to the Anglo-Americans and immigrants already established in America. This problem came chiefly because of the lack of skilled labors, thus causing Irish immigrants to bear the load of working in mines, in quarries, digging canals, and building bridges and railroads. Others still, were servants working as waiters, janitors and factory workers. Women, like American women at the time, often worked in menial... [continues]
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