Immigration Report on Irish Immigrants
Many immigrants came to the United States for multiple reasons. For example, some people fled from Europe to escape religious persecution before the 19th century. Also, others pursued for economic opportunities, adventure, or even possibly a new life in America. The first wave of immigrants who came to the United Reasons that they had to leave Ireland.
“The newness of the North American continent and the vitality of its institutions inspired the immigrants to better their lot.” (Watts, 14)
“Many Irish had developed an aversion as victims of a cruel sharecropping system in Ireland. Once in the United States, therefore, these first immigrants spurned the vast agricultural resources of their adopted country and instead clustered in the cities.” (Watts, 15)
“The final blow came in 1845 when a fungus disease blanketed Europe’s potato fields, causing a continental famine that claimed 2.5 million lives…Potatoes rotted in the ground and in storage bins while starvation reached epidemic proportions.” (Watts, 23-24)
“The English devised a political compromise in 1921, splitting Ireland in two along the lines that still hold… The 1921 split caused great and lasting resentment in Ireland and among Irish Americans. Conflict over the English presence in the island continued to fuel emigration from Ireland…” (Watts, 28)
Three hundred thousand had already immigrated in the years between 1800 and 1830, and in the following decade, when the failure of the potato crop devastated Ireland, the number swelled. (Watts, 39)
Ways and means to U.S.
“Many of these immigrants paid for their passage by contracting out as indentured servants, that is, as hirelings required to repay the costs of their transatlantic journey by working for a specified length of time…” (Watts, 36)
Between 1846 and 1851, more than 1 million Irish- almost all destitute and downtrodden- crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and even after the blight...
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