Immigration and Integration: The Irish in Wales, 1798-1922

Immigration and Integration: The Irish in Wales, 1798-1922

Immigration and Integration: The Irish in Wales, 1798-1922

Immigration and Integration: The Irish in Wales, 1798-1922

Synopsis

"Immigration and Integration: The Irish in Wales, 1798-1922" is the first book-length study of the Irish in modern Wales. Emigration has been one of the defining experiences of modern life for the Irish, and a significant number of the Irish diaspora settled in Wales during the nineteenth century.In this pioneering work Paul O'Leary examines the causes of emigration and seeks to understand the experience of Irish immigrants in Wales. Initially, there was little evidence of Celtic solidarity and the Irish often met with violent hostility from the Welsh. Nevertheless, by the late nineteenth century the tortuous process of integration was well underway and appeared to be relatively trouble free in comparison with the Irish experience in many other parts of Britain.The author considers key aspects of immigrant life in depth: pre-famine immigration; the role of the Irish in the labour force; criminality and drink; the establishment of community institutions, ranging from Catholic churches and schools to pubs and bookshops, from friendly societies to political organizations; the mobilization of support for Irish nationalist organizations; and Irish participation in the labour movement. In each case the author links the distinctive experiences of the Irish to developments in Welsh society."

Excerpt

Since the Second World War, Welsh history has attracted considerable scholarly attention and enjoyed a vigorous popularity. Not only have the approaches, both traditional and new, to the study of history in general been successfully applied to Wales’s past, but the number of scholars engaged in this enterprise has multiplied during these years. These advances have been especially marked in the University of Wales.

In order to make more widely available the conclusions of recent research, much of it of limited accessibility in postgraduate dissertations and theses, in 1977 the History and Law Committee of the Board of Celtic Studies inaugurated a new series of monographs, Studies in Welsh History. It was anticipated that many of the volumes would originate in research conducted in the University of Wales or under the auspices of the Board of Celtic Studies. But the series does not exclude significant contributions made by researchers in other universities and elsewhere. Its primary aim is to serve historical scholarship and to encourage the study of Welsh history. Each volume so far published has fulfilled that aim in ample measure, and it is a pleasure to welcome the most recent addition to the list.

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