The Irish came to the New World with little economically

The Irish came to the New World with little economically -...

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• The Irish came to the New World with little economically, but they had a basis of unity in their religion and heritage. They also arrived with skills honed in Ireland that allowed them to organize effectively. Because they were a minority group in Ireland, they were familiar with oppression based on ethnicity. They understood the political realities and knew what needed to be done to gain power. • However, the dominant group did not acquiesce willingly. They reacted sharply to the Irish American attempts to gain power. Fear of the Irish turbulence, their increasing political power, and the new assertiveness of the Roman Catholic Church helped to produce a resurgence of nativism in the 1880s. The dominant group saw the Irish American forays into unionism and politics as a diminution of their power and control. • Although the Anglo Americans who dominated the colonies and the United States had political
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Unformatted text preview: differences with Britain, they had retained many of the anti-Catholic—and particularly anti-Irish Catholic—attitudes that had prevailed in England at the time of their departure. Thus the Irish Catholics in the United States found their Anglo hosts virtually as intolerant of their Catholicism as the English had been. • Protestant propagandists began to attack the “foreign” religion and spread wild rumors. By the 1840s, a broad network of nativist societies, religious propaganda organizations, magazines, and newspapers existed. Books attacking Catholics had become staples of the publishing industry. Irish Americans did not want to send their children to public schools, where every effort would be made to convert them into good Americans, which meant good Protestant Americans. Catholic Churches were burned and Catholics were occasionally murdered in anti-Catholic riots....
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