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Irish Immigration

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The Irish began to immigrate to the United States in the 1820s because of the Napoleonic War causing over sized population; and the Act of Union in 1803, making the Islands apart of the British Polity. Years later in 1845 the great potato rot destroyed almost all the farming for five years, causing many to die of starvation. So the survivors emigrated from their homeland to the United States. Some of the Irish immigrants found it cheaper to trip to Canada and get transportation to the United States. Between the 1820's and the 1880's it was estimated are 3.5 million Irish immigrants traveled into the United States. Roughly between the 1850's to the 1880's with the booming employment for the building of the great canals, and the railroads the Irishman began to colonize into small communities, when the 1900's came the Irish made up thirteen percent of the workforce. As American cities were undergoing rapid growth and beginning to develop an infrastructure and creating the governmental machinery and personnel necessary to run it, the Irish and their children got their first foothold- on the ground floor. Irish policemen and firemen are not just stereotypes: Irish all but monopolized those jobs when they were being created in the post-Civil War years, and even today Irish names are clearly over-represented in those occupations (Daniels, 1990).

The Irish went through a hardship like most cultures that came to the United States, if it was willingly or not. They were affected by the dual labor market because they were giving decent paying jobs as manual laborers. That is where the Irish and Redlining come in; there was such a large number of Irish immigrants that some of the United States population did hire you if you were Irish. Even though it is considered discrimination the residents made it very clear by posting no Irish signs outside of their businesses. Another great example of the Redlining that the Irish went through was the fact that they had to live and make their communities in what was called the slums. Because some of the wealthier class communities would not welcome the Irish to join their communities that is where the Irish faced the institutional discrimination. The hard working Irishmen and woman even had to deal with the promises of a better life in the United States when they were thwarted by prejudice, racism, and segregation.

When it comes to reverse discrimination the Irishman we not for the freeing of the Black American slaves, for the simple fear of having to compete for the only jobs they were allowed. Even thought the Irish immigrants were considered stupid and illiterate and far worse than the blacks by the American population. (Axia College, ETH125-Cultural Diversity Course Website, 2006).

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