1850: Irish Immigration to the United States

Moment in History:

In 1803, the Irish people were forced under British rule and deeply oppressed in their own land. Irish–Catholics suffered constant discrimination under a new Protestant Kingdom. From 1820 to 1880 many Irish immigrated to the United States and found that they were discriminated in their new country, referred to as “lower class and dirty” people, as they were back in Ireland by the British. In hopes of finding success and acceptance, the Irish chose to disassociate themselves from “their closest social competitors,” Northern African Americans who shared many of their same struggles. In spite of this shared struggle, the Irish refused to take work where African Americans worked, and instead chose to adopt the idea of “white” America by collaborating with whites in oppressing African Americans.

An Expert’s Perspective

More information at:

How the Irish Became White