Discrimination against Irish immigrants targeted their Catholicism, relative poverty and willingness to work for lower wages than the average native American employee. Nativists accused the Irish of having greater allegiance to the Church in Rome than to the United States. They were also incensed by what they perceived to be the influx of cheap labor displacing them in the workforce.Know More
The biggest factor in the anti-Irish sentiment of the 19th century was the Catholic faith of the immigrants, according to the U.S. Embassy. Catholicism had a long history of antagonism with Protestantism and Anglicanism in Europe that carried over to America in the 1820s. Not only did the typically Protestant nativists deplore the doctrinal peculiarities of Catholicism; they believed it to be incompatible with American democracy. Nativists argued that a hierarchical, centrally-governed church went against the pluralism that made the American republic workable.
Discrimination against Irish immigrants had strong economic motivation as well. The Irish fled conditions of immense poverty in their native land. Upon arriving in the United States, they were willing to work for less money than employers paid the typical laborer. Nativists resented the threat to their livelihood, according to the Library of Congress.
Additionally, nativists believed that the poor Irish immigrants would not rise above poverty. They feared the Irish would become America's first permanent working class. This seemed to threaten the pivotal American principle of social mobility.Learn more about Social Sciences
The first Protestant faith began in the 16th century, as there was a harsh split with Catholicism. This Protestant Reformation began in 1517 and was led by Martin Luther, John Calvin and others, and brought about Lutherans and Calvinists. Shortly thereafter, Presbyterians formed after the Scottish Reformation in 1536.Full Answer >
Most Irish immigrants who made their way to America settled in cities along the Eastern seaboard. After 1846, when almost all of the people leaving Ireland were rural Catholics fleeing the effects of the Great Potato Famine, Boston and New York received them in the greatest numbers.Full Answer >
Discrimination is the act of treating a person differently — negatively or positively — because of that person's race, class, sexual orientation or gender or any other group to which that person belongs, rather than assessing individual needs and merits.Full Answer >
According to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center, most immigrants to the United States come from the Asia-Pacific and Latin America-Caribbean regions. The study showed an increase in immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East from 1992 to 2012 and a decrease in immigrants from Latin America, Europe and other parts of North America.Full Answer >