What Is the History of Irish Immigration?


Quick Answer

The history of Irish immigrants in America begins in colonial times and picks up again in 1840 when Ireland suffered what is now known as the Great Famine. During the Great Famine, many Irish immigrants left Ireland and traveled to Boston, sending the Boston population from 30,000 people to 100,000 in the span of a single year.

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Full Answer

Most Irish immigrants worked as laborers because they were desperate for work, which led to servant work. Irish women often had mental illness issues and were known for their loneliness. Americans were upset with the Irish immigrants because they were not particular about work and would work for very little, which made it more difficult for existing Americans to barter for higher wages.

The most difficult part of being an Irish immigrant perhaps was the ostracization from American society. The existing Americans were not happy to have the Irish around and considered them all to be stupid, illiterate drunks. They also were not welcoming when it came to the Irish religion, which was Catholicism. Irish immigration continued despite the poor treatment of the Irishmen. During the 1800s, more than 50 percent of the entire population of Ireland left for the United States; the Irish population would continue to dwindle with the Irish population falling from 8.2 million in 1841 to 4.7 million in 1891.

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