Irish In America Essay

1060 words - 4 pages

To some, the term Irish Americans represents a group who can be found among many other ethnic groups in the United States; however to those members who are Irish-Americans, it shows a group who endured through slavery, torture, starvation, and blood and tears under the control of the British Parliament. This all happened in the 1700s when Poyning’s Law was passed, which allowed British parliament to gain full control on Ireland, separating themselves from England to gain more money. Despite the immense monarchial power of the British, the Irish also faced many natural disasters that became a huge factor for their departure to the United States.
Ireland was a place similar to a prison cell for the Irish. Under the control of Britain, Irish were secluded from having any sort of freedom. During the time of the Elizabethan era, plantation was only granted to Protestants loyal to Britain. They were provided with sufficient amount of lands which was rightfully meant to be shared with the Irish and Catholics. The British showed no compassion; with their ruthless hearts they passed unfair laws that were directed towards the Irish and Catholics. In the eyes of British, Irish and Catholics were treated equally. These laws passed by the British were so callous that even being a “Catholic could get a person into trouble, along with keeping the Irish tradition such as speaking Gaelic, Irish song, story, and dance was outlawed.” (O’Reilly, 71) These series of laws passed by the British was known as the Penal Laws, “they effectively prohibited those who were not Anglican protestants –namely, Catholics, and to a lesser extent dissenters from participating in political life.” (O’Reilly, 70) Penal laws prevented any Irish and Catholics from holding any power. “Catholics could not vote or be elected to parliament, join the army or navy, practice law, seek education abroad, display symbols of family or rank, bare arms, worship as a Catholic, or be a Catholic priest, and could not buy or inherit land from protestants” (Doolin, Lecture) Cromwell was the man sent to enforce the penal laws, where ever he saw Irish or Catholics disobeying the laws Cromwell murdered them and took their lands, while others were banished to the west of Ireland. The only motive for Britain was to do everything in their power to drive away Irish and Catholics from Ireland and these laws were a great start.
The Potato first originated in Peru, and then it was introduced to Ireland in the late sixteenth century. Ever since then it has become a part of an Irish diet. An “average adult male consumed twelve to fourteen pounds of potatoes each day, with women and older children consuming as much as eleven pounds, and children under ten around five pounds.” (Dolan, 69) This was their only food supply, fishing never worked out due to poor boats and equipment. Potatoes became very successful for the Irish during the early 1800’s. “The Napoleonic wars agricultural prices were on the rise as the...

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