Irish immigrants in New York City, 1945-1995 by Linda Dowling Almeida PDF

By Linda Dowling Almeida

The Irish are in all places in the United States, from Frank McCourt (with books at the bestseller lists), to Riverdance, to PBS specials, to Pierce Brosnan (James Bond is absolutely Irish-American--we knew all of it time) to U2, and so forth. And immigrants are all over. This booklet tells the tale of 1 of the main seen teams of immigrants within the significant urban of immigrants within the final 1/2 the twentieth-century.

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Young men and women began to emigrate again once the British economy began to recover in the mid-1930s and especially the 1940s, when the military buildup in Great Britain demanded a steady supply of labor since its own available population was called into the armed forces. The gender ratio of emigration showed that in the ¤fteen years between 1946 and 1961 slightly more women than men left Ireland (1,088:1,000). Women outpaced men in the immediate postwar years by almost 30 percent. Ireland’s National Economic and Social Council (NESC) speculated that the gap represented a backlog of women who delayed departure because of wartime conditions in Great Britain, and that the number in the second half of the 1940s included the wives and ¤ancées of men already placed overseas.

Thus the labor activism that accompanied the depression of the 1870s could justly be compared to the Land League activism in Ireland, lending the league an American as well as an Irish signi¤cance to the Irish American working class. The Irish World was the most radical supporter of the Land League agitation, and Ford’s focus on linking the tenant rights platform with an agenda for American social reform had limited appeal. The more conservative ethnic papers, such as the Irish American in New York and John Boyle O’Reilly’s Pilot in Boston, observed no connections between land reform in Ireland and social conditions in the United States.

They could not relate to Ford’s complaints about the inequities in America’s industrial society. The Irish middle class, institutional leaders in the Church, and major ethnic papers avoided the link of land and labor. The Land League movement in Ireland arguably radicalized labor in the United States. It was both a model for political action and a training ground for activists who eventually made their way to America and joined the labor movement. Labor action, such as the social boycotting of errant freight handlers, organized by Jeremiah Murphy, the president of the freight handlers union in New York City in 1882, can be traced to the ostracizing and shunning techniques popular among nineteenth-century secret agrarian societies in Ireland.

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