The United States is home to hundreds of nationalities, races, and religions. It is the breeding ground for diversity. This was not always the case. The 17th century to the 19th century was the times of immigration to the country. Immigrants came from all over to experience the free land. During the 19th century the waves of immigrants were primarily Irish. Most people assume that the Irish came to America because of the Potato Famine in 1845. However, in truth this was only one part of it. During the 17th century Ireland consisted of mainly peasants. Much of the Ireland's lands were farms that were owned by wealthy and controlling landowners.
[...] “Negative stereotypes, supported by much of the Anglo-American population, characterized the Irish as ‘pugnacious, drunken, semi-savages' that were ‘small, ugly, simian creatures armed with liquor and a shillelagh.' During this time, terms like ‘paddy wagons,' ‘shenanigans,' and ‘shanty Irish' were also popularized by the press” (Dan O.). The very strong and popular reason for the Irish being discriminated against was they were of the Catholic religion. During the time of their immigration Boston was heavily populated with Puritans/Protestants who, at the time, hated all opposing faiths, mainly Catholics. [...]
[...] Through all the rough times that the Irish immigrants faced, they did manage to maintain a sense of dignity and Ireland in their days. The Irish made sure to keep their strong Irish faith with them daily. Catholic Churches were hard to find for the Irish because there were so many Protestants in Boston before they immigrated there. In 1804 Charles Bulfinch designed and built St. Stephen's Church in the North End and in 1862 it became Roman Catholic. The Church still stands today and is considered one of the most beautiful churches. [...]
[...] In the 1840's the third wave of Irish immigrants took place because of work, crop conditions, the opportunities, freedom, and the potato famine. The famine killed nearly all crops, leaving millions unemployed and starving. One million people, about one quarter of the population, died do to starvation or disease. Children and people roamed the streets starving. Diseases such as cholera and typhus spread across the country. Ireland was weakening. Freedom was a huge reason for the Irish to leave during the third wave. [...]
[...] With their increase in economic standing the Irish began to move out of the dirty, old, congested slums and into nearby neighborhoods. Such as South Boston, Eat Boston, and Dorchester. Towards the end of the 1800s there were new forms of transportation such as the horse-drawn streetcar. This allowed the Irish to move into suburbs such as Roxbury, Brighton, and West Roxbury. (159) O'Connor explains the result of these changes: With immigrant families creating whole new residential neighborhoods, new schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses had to be constructed. [...]
[...] (159) By the start of the 20th century the Irish dominated such a large part of Boston's population. President John F. Kennedy was descendent to an Irish immigrant of the mid-1800s. The Irish received their institutions that they rightfully deserved. Catholic Churches became just as prominent as any other kind of church. Today the Irish are not even thought about and neither is Catholicism. The Irish have become just as important as any other nationality that lives in Boston, or any other country for the matter. [...]
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