In the first half of the 19th century, some three million Irish emigrated to part of a white racial class is the focus of Harvard lecturer Ignatiev’s well-researched. The relevant scholarly literature seems to have started with Noel Ignatiev’s book “ How the Irish Became White,” and taken off from there. “How the Irish Became White”. by Noel Ignatiev. Routledge. “It is a curious fact,” wrote John Finch, an English Owenite who traveled the.
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How did the Irish become White? By violently subjugating African Americans, according to this courageous book by Noel Ignatiev. The Irish in Ireland of the earlyth Century were a revolutionary people: But once these same freedom-lovers emigrated to the United States, a peculiar thing happened: In order to overcome these barriers, the Irish made a strategic choice: Instead, the race riots when rowdy Irish attacked African Americans were largely in response to an economic condition arising in early US capitalism: Northern industrial labor markets were saturated by waves of immigrants and freed slaves competing over lower and lower wages.
To secure jobs for themselves, the Irish became the hammer that pounded away at racial segregation to force African Americans out of the factories and into poverty and the ghetto.
Much of the book centers in Philadelphia, which made this book doubly relevant for me. Ignatiev explores how Irishmen found employment in Philly by systematically excluding Blacks from any workplaces they were involved in: The racial warfare which occurred throughout Philly was really quite drastic: Black churches, homes, and businesses were regularly attacked and burned during the 19th century. These same gangs soon involved themselves in Democratic Party machine politics by stuffing ballot boxes, roughing up potential voters, and putting forth Irish candidates for offices.
The extreme violence and corruption shocked me at first, but in fact explains quite a lot about the current reality of Philadelphia, which remains racially tense and divided to this day. This is not an easy book to read. Ignatiev uses a lot of primary sources so the language can be difficult. Worse though is that he often refrains from making his points clearly iish directly, instead drawing you into long stories irsh only tangentially explain his key thesis.
Nevertheless, with a subject-matter as compelling as this, the book can be gripping, and I highly recommend it. To overcome the racial barriers of today and tomorrow, we need to learn from the mistakes of the past.
Specifically, we are forced to wonder, how can we overcome centuries of racism in America? What does the election of a Black Democrat jgnatiev President explain about the arc of US politics, and what challenges does it present?
In any case, studying our troubled and dark history is the only way to escape it and open a door to a different reality.
As we take that intellectual journey we may also discover who we really are…. In the morning hey were pure, loving, and innocent; in the evening, guilty — excusing their fault with the plea of expecting advantage to follow faithfulness. Enter your email address and subscribe to get the latest End of Capitalism news right in your inbox. Comments feed for this article. November 23, at 9: Making racial arguments with reference to culture, and cultural characteristics, is the […].
June 15, at I have read this book and it was very revealing regarding the Irish. The Irish were treated horribly by the English — they Irish were considered the niggers of Europe. Yet they came to America and began to do the same thing to African Americans that were being done to them iggnatiev the English. I am African American and it filled in the gaps for many issues that were on my mind- such as labor unions and their persistence in keeping African Americans out of the trades, firemen and their persistence in controlling who become firemen, and the Irish themselves and their strained relationship with African Americans.
No people should take pride in their rise, if they have kept their boot on the neck of another people to keep them down. If the people in the mud have faith in God, and Ivnatiev exacts his grace whute mercy, those mud people in igntiev will rise up and become a dominant people in the land. September 22, at 7: Bunch of racists that cry wolf. Wgite 2, at 8: Or has some elements of such?
May 28, at 5: May 16, at 1: You must know that the Irish were sent to be sold krish slaves by the English who transported any, and all political prisoners that were Irish, to the colonies and the Indies in vast numbers. Children and women included. They were of lesser value than their African counterparts as they were Papists and regarded as mere human livestock. They were not indentured servants as some would have you believe and they numbered in the hundreds of thousands.
The price on their heads was about 5 pounds sterling while the African slave was worth about 50 pounds. January 12, at 5: Yes we were indentered servants coming off the ships. And the women were raped and beaten. Every new group that came here were treated poorly. Benjamin Franklin was a indentured servant. By his uncle whike he was learning his trade in Boston.
He escaped and went to Philadelphia and never looked back. Our first President Johnson was Dutch I believe he was indentured and shackled while an apprentice. He to managed to run away with ankle shackels. When he got ro Ohio thankfully, the peopke remived his shackles beczme set him free they could have been hung for that.
April 30, at 1: Was it easier to wrangle up some irish or Africans? This is all speculation Africa is slot bigger, alot more room to hide, jungles, other non slave tribes and what not. Ireland, small and in the shadow of other, bigger European countries, closer to the ducth shipping ports. This sound like economics, perhaps the price difference reflected the overall cost for the individual.
So not true, 10, Irishmen died igatiev the slaves. The first people to stand up against slavery in the south were the Irish. Ignqtiev whole clan was wiped out. I believe you are confusing the first Irish immigrants. The Ulster Irish the protestants. They were rich and owned slaves. Then there are tge downtrodden Irish Catholics that rode in the bottom of the Coffin Ships.
The very same ships that brought the slaves that were given or trader by their own African King. The latter Irish had everything seized from them by the Britsh and left to starve. Many died from starvation on their 2 week journey to America or from dysentary. The rich Britush irsh in luxury on tge upper floors.
The Irish corpes were thrown overboard and fed to the sharks that would follow these ships waiting for their feeding. After freeing the slaves they were upset, because the negros and Irish were compeeting for tge same lousy jobs. Dont buy all this its not true history. Theres alot more to it. January 17, at Being a Bastard The Lefthander’s Path. November 16, at From being slaves themselves to becoming some of the abusers of another themselves even though though WASPs looked down at them even up to the first third of the 20th Century….
We have a similar situation with the Gaza Strip today.
May 19, at Many here get high marks for gullibility. Generally speaking, the mistreatment of the Irish in the US is exaggerated and misrepresented. Nativism was predominantly anti-Catholic. In fact the Irish Catholic immigrant and black populations barely overlapped geographically in the 19th century.
Review of “How the Irish Became White”
Moreover, the principal villains in stirring up anti-black sentiment were Anglo-Saxon Protestants and some other German ethnics connected to commercial interests profiting from slavery. Their Democratic leader irsh the Civil War era, opposing Lincoln, was August Belmont a German immigrant who was a relative and business agent of the Rothschild family. Grant, Sheridan, Meade, Reynolds, and Sherman adoption and marriage.
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Noel Ignatiev – Wikipedia
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