Aftermath of Irish Immigration

December 8, 1850. Boston, Massachusetts.

Ladies and Gents, once again this is Thomas Crowley reporting here for the Baltimore Sun, your number one source for news about our fine country. It has been three years since I last updated you fine American people on the state of these Irish Immigrants in our country, specifically in the port cities like Boston and New York. The good news at this point is that the Potato Famine is just about over so the huge numbers of immigrants that we’ve gotten in the last few years should not be as high in the next few years. The bad news is that over “500,000 Irish have come to America in the last five years” (1) and they are still here.

The Irish love America, even though right now the Irishman is probably the lowest class in our society. Right now, the Irish are being protested against and treated worse than they ever have been before in America. They are more poor than they have ever been before and I can see many of them begging on the streets every time I walk through Boston. They still lack working skills and have to take the jobs that don’t pay very well.  I found a letter on the streets written by an Irish Immigrant that was meant to go back to Ireland but must have fallen out of somebody’s pocket. At one point, the man described the Irish people’s position in America as “one of great shame and poverty” (2).

Not only are they poorer than they have ever been before, but they are being treated worse by Americans than they have ever been. American Protestants, specifically, are not happy with the Irish and things are getting worse between these Protestants and the Catholic Irish than they have ever been before. While many years ago I wrote about the small outbreaks against the Irish the Protestants had, things have changed.

In this day and age, there is a newfound group called the “Know-Nothings”, which is composed of American Protestant males. This group has been around as early as 1843 in New York under the name of the “Native American Party” (3), but they are growing larger as the years go by. They are now known as the “Know-Nothings” because every time someone questions them about what they do they say that they know nothing. This group is completely against the Irish and their goal is to end the Irish Catholic Influence on America. They are doing this by attempting to prevent all Catholics and immigrants from having the ability to be elected to political office and to deny them jobs in the private sector. Basically, these men are trying to purify America and maybe it is a good thing. I got in contact with one and had a short conversation with him the other day.

“Hello, Thomas Crowley here from the Baltimore Sun, your number one source for news about our fine country. What angers you folks the most about the Irish-Catholics in America?”

“Well, these Irish-Catholic bastards have come into our beautiful country and not only have they taken our money and jobs, but most importantly they are spreading the Catholic religion around America, which is a terrible thing. These Catholics are more loyal to their Pope than they are to the United States. They are also trying hostile to many of our Republican Values. These Catholic Immigrants do not belong here and they are trying to ruin our fine country.”

Above: The flag of the Know-Nothing Group

Above: The flag of the Know-Nothing Group

Clearly, these men are not happy with what the Irish are doing to our country. This tension that has been created between the Protestants and the Catholics has had a huge impact on our civilization and the Irish are too loyal to the Catholic Church to give it up. These days, there are lots of Americans out in the streets provoking the Irish and the Irish are goin’ for it. The Irish are violent by nature and they will defend the Catholic Church no matter what. They are not afraid to cause some trouble in our towns and start some fights in bars.

Another thing the Irish Immigrants have been very loyal to besides America and the Catholic Church is Ireland and the people in Ireland. Ireland was a cruel place to live when these people left and it still is, yet the immigrants here in America ruthlessly defend their home country and write back to their family members and friends as often as they can. One book that was published in 1849 described the state of life in Ireland at this time as “still having a very disastrous aspect” adding that “there are still great sufferings among the poor and increased perplexities which have involved all other classes of society” (4). So life in Ireland is still cruel, though it is not as bad as it was at the height of the Potato Famine. Still, this book describes Ireland as still a very tough place to live, meaning that the emigration from Ireland will sadly continue.

Thomas Crowley, Baltimore Sun

Works Cited:

  1. “Early Irish Immigration .” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. <http://www.pbs.org/destinationamerica/usim_wn_noflash.html>.
  2. “Irish Immigrants in America during the 19th Century.” Irish Immigrants in America during the 19th Century. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. <http://www.kinsella.org/history/histira.htm>.
  3. “The Know-Nothings.” Ohio History Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. <http://www.upa.pdx.edu/IMS/currentprojects/TAHv3/Content/PDFs/American_Party.pdf>.
  4. “Irish Views of the Famine.” Irish Views of the Famine. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. <http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/sadlier/irish/Poor.htm>.
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