Irish American Influence On American Culture

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Irish American Influence on American Culture Michael Sunday HIST101 – American History to 1877 Dr. Michael Sullivan Due: March 18, 2018 Irish American Influence on American Culture Introduction During the colonial era (16th century), Irish population in the United States was only bested by the English. Most of the early immigrants from Ireland arrived between 1700 and 1820. Most of them migrated their country of birth or rather Ireland due to conflicts, inadequate political autonomy and poor standards of living. Consequently, they were drawn to America due to the chance of owning a piece of land and greater democracy. Also, a large number of the Irish immigrants were educated and skilled workers. Those able to finance their emigration…show more content…
Being skilled in organization and coupled with their significant numbers in major U.S. cities, rendered them a force to reckon in the political arena. They changed politics in the US cities by transferring power to the locals and the working class. By enhancing on the principles of loyalty to one another and the organization, the Irish came up with political machines able to get the vote. Even though there was competition for jobs, most of the Irish immigrants played a crucial role in the leadership of unions (Mooney, 2009). Reason being, they were skilled in organization to achieve various needs. For example, Mary Harris who later acquired the name ‘Mother Jones’ dedicated at least half a century of her life to unionize workers in different occupations countrywide. Her commitment led to frequent arrests, assaults and unending problems but later won the hearts of US Presidents starting with McKinley to Coolidge. Also, the Irish politicians gained national recognition in the form of appointments to various positions in the US government. The appointments were signs of greater things to come such as election of Irish American leaders like Mayor Richard who served as Chicago Mayor and President John F.…show more content…
Patrick’s Day celebration (Bennett & Cribb, 2013). Despite being an icon (St. Patrick) in Irish history and honored on 17th March, the celebrations and parades were all started by the Americans. In 1737, the Charitable Irish Society was incepted to which the Irish immigrants celebrated it (St. Patrick’s Day) with anniversaries and parties. However, the first parade started in 1762 (Bennett & Cribb, 2013). Hence, such a culture synonymous with Irish-Americans has also had a significant economic effect. For example, every year, Americans buy bacon and cabbage (Irish traditional meal), beer and decorations like dyed chrysanthemums, shamrocks among others that translates to millions of dollars to the economy. St. Patrick’s Day also impacted American culture via symbolism. Things like Leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, pots of gold and rainbows are Irish symbols brought to the U.S. culture depicting wealth, good fortunes and abundance (Monaghan,

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