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The History of the Irish in America

By rareAdmin, Thursday, 10th November 2022 | 0 comments
Filed under: Bitesize Irish History.

The history of Irish people in America dates back to the early 17th century, when a small number of Irish immigrants began arriving in the colonies. However, the largest wave of Irish immigration to America began in the early 19th century and continued through the mid 20th century. This wave of immigration was driven by a variety of factors, including poverty, famine, and political oppression in Ireland.

Many Irish immigrants came to America during the Great Famine of the 1840s, which was caused by a potato blight that devastated the Irish economy and led to widespread starvation. These immigrants were often poor and uneducated, and they faced significant discrimination and hardship upon arriving in America. They were often forced to live in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in urban areas, and they had difficulty finding employment due to their lack of skills and the prejudice they faced.

Despite these challenges, Irish immigrants were able to establish a strong presence in American society. They played a significant role in building the country's infrastructure and shaping its culture, particularly in the cities where they settled in large numbers such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Irish immigrants also made significant contributions to American politics, with many Irish Americans serving as elected officials at the local, state, and national levels.

Over time, the Irish American community has become an integral part of American society, and continues to play a significant role in American culture and politics. Today, the Irish American community is a diverse and vibrant group that celebrates its heritage through events such as St. Patrick's Day parades, Irish music and dance performances, and cultural festivals.

Today, a massive 52 million Americans (1 in 4) have Irish ancestors or relatives while 32 Million Americans (1 in 10) claim ‘Irish’ as their primary ethnicity.