Irish Stereotyping In The Late 1800’s
Published in Puck, America’s first successful comedic magazine containing several types of cartoons, on June 26, 1889 a cartoon entitled “The Mortar Of Assimilation And The One Element That Just Won’t Mix” clearly shows an Irishman rebelling against the rest of the American crowd with a knife in his hand, expressing violence, and possibly alcoholism. Through further research I found that how poorly the Irish were treated during this time period. The cartoon “The Mortar Of Assimilation And The One Element That Just Won’t Mix” expresses the idea Irishmen just do not belong in America, despite the several other races intertwined into our country. This cartoon brings me to the question; Why? Why were the Irish labeled as such outcasts? I have discovered three main reasons to answer this question: The Irish were labeled as violent, drunk, and having strange religious views. One clear reason the Irish were labeled as outcasts is because of the violence they were stereotyped to portray. The Irishman holding the knife in the cartoon is a perfect example of this. The Fenian brotherhood was a group with one main goal to obtain all freedom and become an independent republic of Ireland. For many played the role of motivation in emigrating to the United States, played a large role in this stereotype. One article in particular, entitled “The Fenians In Ireland” published in The New York Observer And Chronicle on November 23, 1895, articulates a perfect example of the violence portray by the Fenian brotherhood. It wrote:
“The Derry Journal contains the following account of a sense of terror and alarm which occurred in a quiet village, but a few evenings since in consequence of a farmer of reliable veracity knocking up his sleepy neighbors to defend their homes and their firesides against a host of bloodthirsty, who were in march for their well-stocked farmyards. After some delay a great number of the male inhabitants were brought...
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