Since hospitals were so overcrowded and there was a significant shortage in staff, those who had to wait eventually contracted disease. In order to prevent the spread of disease to American citizens, constables were employed to control the movement of emigrants to inland. However, a number of emigrants who were likely fearing contagion went to inland without permission. To make the situation worse, food was unfairly distributed as portions were given only to those who collected it for themselves. Yet some who were able to obtain food were unable to cook and ate half-cooked food, contaminated American officials showed lack of anticipation in not expecting the mass of immigration or the horrible condition of arriving emigrants. Since proper preparations were not made in advance, officials were forced to use emergency measures in order to deal with the crisis.
However, when one considers the arrival of so many ill emigrants into a population so small, it is no wonder they were so overwhelmed with problems posed by the sudden mass immigration to the United States. Most of the Irish entered the colonies before the XIX century through the port of Philadelphia and from thence settled in those Pennsylvania counties lying west of that city, Lancaster County having one of the largest populations of these people. From Pennsylvania, many of the immigrants took the Great Wagon Road south into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Initially, the Irish immigrants were not particularly admired by the other Virginia inhabitants.
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The great Virginia planter, William Byrd II, compared the Scotch-Irish immigration as being like the fourth century invasion of the Goths and Vandals into the Roman Empire. In Britain, Edmund Burke, the political philosopher and essayist wrote in 1757, The number of white people in Virginia is between sixty and seventy thousand; and they are growing everyday more numerous, by the migration of the Irish, who not succeeding so well in Pennsylvania as the more frugal and industrious Germans, sell their lands in that province to the latter, and take up new ground in the remote counties in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. These are chiefly Presbyterians from the Northern part of Ireland, who in America are generally called Scotch-Irish. As if the suffering forced upon the Irish during the Famine was not enough, after leaving quarantines, emigrants had to tolerate stereotyping.
Irish Americans were generally portrayed in negative ways. For a long time after arriving in Canada, they were represented as a member of a sub-human species, similar to apes and baboons. They were also portrayed as stupid, wild, mad, and uncivilized human beings. They were looked down upon by most groups including the English, Dutch and Germans who saw them as being less civilized, less orderly, and less interested in bettering themselves materially through hard work.
They were thought to be good fighters and in that capacity were often sent to the frontier to act as a first line of defense against Indian attacks. However, they quickly turned that around by becoming a successful group in the New World. They made a living any way they could. They mainly worked as farmers. However, some became soldiers, blacksmiths, cattle-ranchers, lumberjacks, and factory workers. Essentially finding anything, they could succeed in to take care of their families.
The Irish brought some of their traditions with them to America. They brought their language, which influenced American English to some extent, particularly in Appalachia, but more than anything else, they brought their music, especially fiddle music, which became what we know today as American bluegrass music. The United States was definitely a Promised Land for them. Most of the Irish who came to America turned out to be far more successful than they would have been if they had stayed home. At the worst, they were no worse off than if they would have been if they had not immigrated. America is the land of opportunity; Britain was a land of privilege, status and class systems that were carved in stone.
The entire concept of Manifest Destiny was created by the New York journalist John. L. O's ulli van. It meant that America's fate was to possess or expand across the entire North America; it was undeniable and just waiting to happen. This is the point where many people started traveling west, for many purposes. It is true that America did acquire much land from expanding, but at what cost did we ...
If it were not for these immigrants who dared to take a chance and come to America who knows where we would be today. They dared to dream that a better life that awaited them in a far off and foreign land, leaving everything familiar and safe to travel for months possibly never to see their loved ones again. Often, with little in their pockets other than a dream and some hope. Irish emigrants who migrated to the United States during the famine and generations after it made many significant contributions to America. Many recognized figures who contributed to the history of the United States were, in fact, Irish Americans. For that, I commend them for their bravery and for trying to better the lives of future generations..