The Fighting Irish
The Irish have come a long way in American society from the struggles they once faced, during the immigration wave of the late 1800's. Irish americans faced many hardships during this time, and overcame them all. The first fight that they faced was in 1864, when the great potatoe famine swept across their home land. This only led the people to another battle, across the ocean to the "new world". After settling, the Irish had yet a third affliction thrown upon them, which was their struggle to overcome the prejudices surrounding them in America. But they overcame all of these odds, and proved themselves to be the strong race which we assosiate with the Irish heritage in America today.
The first struggle facing the Irish people was the great potatoe famine. This is the worst period in the history of Irealand. It was the time from 1846-1850 when the greatest food source in the country, potatoes, were wipped out completely.
There was an unusual disease which killed most all of the crops in Irealand. "Subsistence-level Irish farmers found their food stores rotting in their cellars, the crops they relied on to pay the rent to their British and Protestant landlords destroyed."The famine brought much hardship to the country of Irealand. Without potatoes the people not only had no source of food, but also lost their money producing crop. The Wexford Independent gives an alarming account of the state of their part of the country on December 16, 1846, "What the poor people earn on the public works is barely sufficient to support them. All their earnings go for food; and the consequence is, that they have nothing left to procure clothing. Since the extreme cold set in, sickness and death
ave accordingly followed in its train." The...