The Irish Immigration to America.
The largest group ever to immigrate to the United States was the Irish. Today, there are over forty three million people that are of Irish decent within the confines of the United States. There were three distinct waves that brought Irish to America. The first was the early medieval Christian church. The second was the fight of the Roman Catholic nobility. The third and final was the great potato famine, which was the greatest mass emigration ever. .
The first and second waves of immigration were mostly caused by conditions after 1717 that began to grow uneasy. The British encouraged the people of Northern Ireland (Ulster) who were called Scotch-Irish to create a Presbyterian presence in a Catholic Ireland. Irish could not live with religious freedom. They were often challenged by the British reign that would not allow them to practice as Catholics. They could not believe that anyone could take away their freedom of religion. They had gotten word that in the New World that you could freely practice any religion you would like. Add periodic crop failures that hurt the Irish whose major form of employment was mostly farming and it was also their only source of food. They had no jobs, no food and rents were on the rise. Women, who were fortunate to have jobs, lost them in a declining linen industry. New opportunities had to be exlored. Most came and worked as indentured servants because that is the only work they could find as unskilled laborers. .
The third wave of immigration was the great potato famine. It began with a blight of a potato crop that left acre upon acre of Irish farmland covered with black rot. Whatever crops the Irish could produce went directly to the British leaving the Irish hungry and poor. Some peasants tried eating the only thing they could, rotten crop, which made them sick and resulted in entire villages being inflicted with cholera and typhus.