“Here is not merely a nation, but a teeming nation of nations”. These famous words, which were spoken, by the famed author and poet Walt Whitman is a perfect way to describe our ever changing melting pot society, which we call America.
Immigration has effected and changed our country in many ways, many of which being economic reasons from 1820-1860. There have been many reasons for people migrating to America. Among the top of these reasons are those of Political Freedom, and Economic opportunities, which include people wanting more money and better jobs. A large amount of immigrants from this time period came by way of Slavery. From the 1820s until 1860 Immigration to America has affected the national economy in many positive and negative ways.
Around 1830 in America there was an abundance of land at a cheap cost, jobs were found with little difficulty because of the decreased birth rate and high urbanization and industry that was greatly increasing. The attraction that America had towards the Immigrants was mainly the large amounts of land for farms, which the people greatly desired. Many of the early arrivals to America were followed with reports to the people’s homeland countries that the streets of America were “paved with gold”. This saying was to refer to the prosperity that the American economy had during the early19th century. Many countries outside of America during this time were in great despair.
When there is no land left for farming of a crop, which is heavily relied on throughout your country, people tend to leave. One main source of immigration to America was the Irish. During the mid 1800s Ireland’s population grew rapidly and many of the people lived on small farms that produced very little, because of their poverty the people depended mainly on the potato crop. However around 1845 a plant disease killed the majority of the crop.
Around three quarters of a million people died and thousands more left the country in search of a better life. Many of the emigrants to America from Irish were under the age of thirty-five and men. Families sent their strong sons to the New World in order to make money to afford the trip of the other family members. Even though there was a low birth rate and plentiful jobs in America many of the Irish found that the fast paced economy they heard about was not as fast as they believed. Many of the Irish worked as domestic servants particularly the women that came over, and the men mostly worked as day laborers. This job however produced many problems including an alarmingly high death rate.
The Irish were faced with many problems when they came to the United States. The worst however would have to have been the resentment that the native-born Americans showed toward them. The population of the native-born Americans was predominately white Protestants, this being so they showed much hatred to the Roman Catholic Irish immigrants. With this being so many Irish families feared for their children’s lives in public school.
Even though many Irish families were without two pennies to rub together, they did however manage to construct Parish schools, which centralized around the Catholic Church. The schools having at first been for the Irish Catholics has spread to many cultures from their arrival into the United States. Given that most of the Irish who came to America in the mid 1800s were threatened and mistreated, the native-born Americans still tried to take advantage of them. In many Northeastern cities in America the political system known as the Boss system was in effect. This system would greet new Irish immigrants coming into the country. In exchange for voting in favor of the political Boss system they were given food, coal and help with the law.
Many of the Irish took advantage of this offering and in even some cases Irish immigrants became prominent political figures in the Boss system in the Northeast. Politics quickly attracted the Irish people. Since most of their ethnic group lived in the northeastern cities, electing an Irish man to office was not at all difficult. Without wasting much time the Irish soon took over public