Irish Segregation In The Early Nineteenth Century

1202 words - 5 pages

Irish Segregation in the early 19th century
By mid 1800s, Ireland was a pocket of disease, famine, and British oppression. The great potato famine made life in Ireland almost unlivable or they were forced to leave by the British. After coming to America many Irish settled in New York City seeking jobs homes and a place to make a name for themselves. However, this was not the case when many “white” Americans refused to hire Irish workers. Much of the hate came from unfounded rumors as they were not “white” or they were liar’s, criminal’s, they are all filthy, and go on for quite a list. Some of these rumors were true such as many Irish people were uneducated but that in no reflected them as a people. The Irish were being hated on two fronts one they were Irish and two they were Catholics.
The segregation the Irish faced was, because they were seen as poor and uneducated; among other things. Many lived in what were called almshouses which were large very poor houses that held multiple families, in which they had terrible living conditions, and only aloud to live with other Irish. The shacks they lived in were so close to one another that it alluded for diseases to spread easily and quickly. Alongside that, many Irishmen had a hard time finding employment or any form of work. They were denied access to certain business and jobs. Americans would post signs that would say "No Irish Need Apply" or no Irish allowed (Jenson, 2002).
The Irish were subjected to racism, because many people felt they were worse than “Colored People” and should not be allowed were they were. The reason they believe this way is because the black people tolerated the treatment and the Irish would not suffer the maltreatment in silence and spoke out against their oppressors in great numbers (McDonald, NA).
In conditions like these, the labor market was scarce for many Irish workers and if they did find a job it was usually reduced pay, and the treatment they were given there was just as bad. This Resulted in many Irish Folk losing their Surnames, change religions and learn to talk without the accents. When the Irish stood up those in charge, the militia was being called in and they would be forced to accept the pay.
The Irish faced an accumulation of other problems as time marched on, because they were considered less than human. Plantation owners used the Irish to clear swamps in which they were not given much protection, because they were considered less valuable than slaves were. The Irish dealt with many issues as they immigrated to the United States in ships that were over packed and had poor living conditions, which did not improve once they entered the United States. These conditions eventually lead to the spread of diseases and death of many Irish. These conditions also lead to many deaths of children and animals.
Unlike many the Irish did not apologize for the things they were oppressed for, instead they united as a peoples and took offense...

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