Reflecting on Irish Immigration in the 1800’s

Date: November 9, 1851. Boston, Massachusetts.

 

Ladies and Gents, it is Thomas Crowley from the Baltimore Sun, your number one source for news about our fine country. Over the past 20 years or so I have been writing to all of you folks about the Irish immigration issues in the US. However, this is my last article to you all because I am givin’ up writing forever. I have had a great run and learned a lot about The Irish and immigration in general. One of the most important things I have learned looking at both the Irish points of view and the American points of view is that people are different and there are a lot of factors in why The Irish and The Americans don’t get along very well. Not only is it that the Irish are taking American jobs and money, but there are also strong religious opinions on either side and this has caused a lot of the trouble. Also, there are social issues such as the aggressiveness and heavy drinking of the Irish people that has caused an increase in crime and violence in the streets. Many people don’t realize that there are all of these factors that go into the issues between the Irish and the Americans.

Irish Immigrants

 

The picture above is one that I believe really gives an idea of what has been going on here in America. These immigrants come off of these boats that are loaded with people. Many people die on these boats  on the way over here. The Irish people are willing to take the risk of dying on the way over here or getting sick on these crowded boats just to come to America. This image shows them getting off of one of those coffin ships, tired and hungry and poor. The risks they are willing to take to come to this land of opportunities are crazy. They come off of these ships vulnerable and desperate, as shown in the picture above. People goin’ to these measures just to get to America shows how fine of a country we have over here.

The arrival of countless immigrants has absolutely had plenty of negative impacts on people’s lives. They have brought social changes, as the Irish Immigrants have pretty much become their own social class. They came here with different religions, different attitudes, and different backgrounds than us Americans had ever been used to. While in 1840, Catholicism was a small religion constituting “less than 1% of America’s population, now, the Catholics make up over 5% of our population, and that number is increasing rapidly” (1). Our crime rates have also risen and there are more prisons and issues with the law than ever before.

Economically, there have also been drastic changes correlated with the influx of Irish Immigrants. There are some positives and negatives in the economic state of our country since the arrival of all of these immigrants. On the negative side, some of them take jobs from Americans and almost all of these immigrants are lower class, adding to the poor population in our country. However, on the positive side, many of them do the jobs that we don’t want to do anyway and they have been an important part in the building of countless railroads and canals over the last years. Landlords have done well too recently because they charge these immigrants a hefty amount of money to stay in shacks on their property.

Therefore, while we Americans are not advocates of the Irish Immigrants and we do not support them or defend them at all, at least there are some positive things they are doing for our country. Everything about them is not all negative and the changes they have brought have hurt our country in several, but our country has also benefited from them somewhat.

Thomas Crowley, Baltimore Sun

 

 

Works Cited:

  1. “Roman Catholics and Immigration in Nineteenth-Century America, The Nineteenth Century, Divining America: Religion in American History, TeacherServe, National Humanities Center.” Roman Catholics and Immigration in Nineteenth-Century America, The Nineteenth Century, Divining America: Religion in American History, TeacherServe, National Humanities Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2013.
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