Far and Away

Topics: United States, Irish diaspora, Irish American Pages: 2 (709 words) Published: November 16, 2008
The Irish immigrated to the United States of America with promises of a better life. That was not the case upon arrival for the Irish settlers. They faced prejudice, segregation, and many other forms of discrimination. Their treatment was very poor and unwelcoming to say the least. The moment they stepped off the ships from Ireland, they were segregated into the poorest areas to seek shelter in slums and attempted to fit their entire families into rooms no bigger than today's average bedroom. As a group, the Irish were shunned and turned away from many job opportunities being confronted by signs which stated "Irish need not apply".

In the early 1800s life in Ireland was not easy, Irish citizens got by day to day by farming and relying on the potato. The potato was their main source of food and money. With out the potato the Irish did not have anything. No one was ready for what was about to happen in 1845, the beginning of the Great Irish Potato Famine. The Irish Potato Famine was the worst tragedy in the history of Ireland. The outcome of the famine would result in hundreds of thousands dead, a failure of the economy in Ireland, and millions of emigrants forced to leave their home and country just to try to survive.

The Irish Americans were subjected to a dual labor market. During the late 1800's, after the first large Irish immigration into America, Irish immigrants were considered to be the poorest of all the immigrants coming into the United States. Because of the constant prejudice against Irish, they were kept at this poor standing by only being offered the lowest paying, and the most backbreaking jobs available, leaving the higher paying jobs for natural American citizens. “During the 1850's there was no group who seemed lower than the Irish. Some of this was due to poverty but the Irish were also considered bad for the neighborhood.

Whether the Political Machines of the late 1800's and early 1900's were good or bad is a difficult question to...
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