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The Rise of the Irish

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  1. During the 19th century the Irish left Ireland and immigrated to Boston in search of better jobs, better opportunities, and a better life.
  2. It was the third wave that had the most impact on America and the city of Boston. It would become known as the Great Migration.
  3. For some, there was already family or friends living in the Boston area with whom they could stay with.
  4. With the increase in immigrants there was a large surplus of labor.
  5. It was hard to be an Irish hero in Boston during the 19th century.
  6. The Irish had in a way built themselves a ladder and were not able to climb up it.
  7. By the start of the 20th century the Irish dominated such a large part of Boston's population.

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. [...]

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