Irish Immigration to the Gangs of New York
Jewish Immigrants have become the most successful ethnic group in the US. What have they achieved?
Highest Income Highest Level of Education Most Occupational Prestige
Who is the second most successful ethnic group? National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
The Irish!!! Who are a close second in each category National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
How? • Why?
Strategies? • By Chance? • Luck?
Early Irish History 8000 BC – 400 AD Nomadic hunters and gathers Eventual settlements Few archaeological remains
Early Christian Period 400 – 800 St. Patrick, 432 AD Roman and Christian influences England, 684 AD
Medieval History 800 – 1200 Viking invasions and settlements Dublin, 840s AD Irish feudal kings
Later Medieval History Norman Invasions, 12th Century English – French rivalry 1171 AD, Lordship of Ireland, English Crown
The Scots in Ireland Scots migrate to northern Ireland; Ulster 17th century sporadic migration 18th Century: Formal English policy Irish Catholics Driven from Ulster Time of bloody confrontations
Where the British Empire Goes So go the Irish: as Soldiers, Servants, Missionaries, Settlers, etc. To North America
Irish Assimilation in North America Subsistence to Market Rural to Urban Non English--English Speakers
Ulster Presbyterians become American Frontiersmen Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett Irish Catholics from Ulster become Protestant in America Irish Catholic Indentures (also Anglo-Irish) Ulster Presbyterian
During the American Revolution 33% to 40% of Washington’s Army was Irish Many British thought it was an Irish rebellion, or a Presbyterian rebellion
Early Irish Patriots: Matthew Thornton George Taylor James Smith
By 1789 United Irishmen Alien-Sedition Act
Colonial Period: • Irish as Alien Servants and Frontiersmen • 2.Revolutionary Period: • Irish gained claim to patriotism • 3. Early Republican Period: • Irish convergence of talented, educated men
Jacksonian Period: 1840s Mass Irish Immigration to the US Famine and political Mostly Catholic Mostly Unskilled Labor Settled in the cities Emergence of intense anti Irish/Catholic hostilities: The Native American Party, later renamed the American Party The Know Nothing Movement
Irish in the Civil War 1860 census Irish/Am in the US: 1.5 million Northern armies: 150,000 Southern armies: 40,000 ???
The First Major Minority Group: All of the urban pathologies we now associate with the urban poor
Poor Irish • 2/3 of those in Alms House were Irish Alms Houses lent poor out as laborers
UNSKILLED WORKERS Canals: Erie, Delaware & Chesapeake, New Orleans Railroads
CHOLERA EPIDEMIC Proof of Irish decadence
COMPETITION WITH BLACK LABOR • IRISH MOVE INTO CITIES ENMASS • $3 paid forwarding agents for fictitious RR jobs • They could work 12 hours for 87.5 cents a day • Much lower than African Americans • See Want-ads in Boston & Philly papers • NINA
Irish Discrimination • Paddy wagons • Patrick Hooligan • Irish drunks • Mic’s
Upward Mobility • Priesthood & Religious Life • Politics • Police • Firemen • Labor Unions • Nationalism
Not so Upwardly Mobile • The Irish dominated these professions by the late 19th century • Boxers • Sportsmen • Singers • Actor • Musicians
Philadelphiavs. New York & Boston Which city was best for the Irish?
Housing -- 1851 • New York 515,000 • 37,730 houses • Philadelphia 490,000 • 61,200 houses
Philadelphia • 1850 72,312 Irish born • 18% of city’s population • 1860 95,458 Irish born • 17% of city’s population • In NYC & Boston 23% of the population
1850Only 1% of Boston Irish were grocers 1857 20% of Philly’s grocers were Irish 12% of Philly’s Dry Goods Merchants were Irish
HOUSES Building and Loans in Philadelphia
ENTREPRENEURS • Entrepreneurs Raise the Irish to New Levels • 1850 48% of Irish were unskilled laborers • This has NO parallel with any other immigrant group • But only 33% of Philly’s Irish were unskilled laborers
Irish Construction Companies Build Catholic Churches & Schools Irish Catholic Workers Workers can afford homes
Prior to 1860Boston has only 4 Catholic schools PHILLY HAD 19
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS • Protestant Bibles • Proselytize Catholics • Harass Children
NATIVISTS RIOTS in Philadelphia • BIBLE CONTROVERSY • HARASSMENT OF CATHOLIC CHILDREN
Gangs of New York • Fact: • Gangs existed originated in part from gangs in Ireland. • Functioned similarly to gangs of today.
Gangs of New York • NY’s infamous • Five Points