The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook

By Sally M. Miller | Go to book overview

12
The Irish-American Press

EILEEN McMAHON

The Irish-American press helped guide many Irish from rural Catholic Ireland into urban, industrial, Protestant America. It filled various needs of the Irish community, the most important being the providing of practical information on the United States. Irish Catholic clergymen often spoke through this medium to instruct their displaced flock in a confusing new world. By 1830 the Irish had assumed command of the urban American Catholic Church and had made its diocesan newspapers vehicles for an Irish point of view. Irish nationalists also saw in the press the opportunity to generate interest in a movement to liberate Ireland from the shackles of British colonialism.

Irish Catholics began their exodus to America in significant numbers in the 1820s. By 1922 as many as 7 million Irish had found refuge and a new home in North America. 1 Although the majority of Irish immigrants were peasants, their primitive farming skills, their poverty, the communal nature of Catholicism, and their desire to live together made the industrial cities of the North and East a more fitting place to settle than the vast and lonely farms of the Midwest. As an urban proletariat they helped generate America's industrial and transportation revolutions. While cities offered the Irish unskilled jobs, urban life and poverty forced many into crime, alcoholism, mental illness, and slum living. 2

Anglo-American Protestants were unprepared for and alarmed at this unprecedented influx of aliens into their country and the social problems they seemed to create. Although the Irish culture, with its crude manners, social misconduct, and disease-ridden slums, irritated Anglo-Americans, Irish Catholicism seemed even more threatening to American institutions and values. To Anglo-Americans, it contradicted the liberal, democratic principles of the American Enlightenment expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Catholicism represented Old World despotism, idolatry, ignorance, and superstition. Many Americans doubted the ability of Catholics to be loyal to the United States when their faith demanded allegiance to the pope, who was both a spiritual and temporal ruler infamous for meddling in the affairs of states. 3 Some thought this Irish Catholic invasion involved a popish plot designed to destroy American freedom.

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The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Notes xxi
  • 1: The Arabic-Language Press 1
  • Notes 13
  • Bibliography 14
  • 2: The Carpatho-Rusyn Press 15
  • Introduction 15
  • Conclusion 23
  • Notes 23
  • Notes 26
  • 3: The Chinese-American Press 27
  • Notes 39
  • Notes 42
  • 4: The Croatian Press 45
  • Notes 56
  • Notes 58
  • 5: The Danish Press 59
  • Bibliography 69
  • 6: The Dutch Press 71
  • Notes 82
  • Notes 83
  • 7: The Filipino-American Press 85
  • Introduction 85
  • Conclusion 95
  • Notes 96
  • Notes 99
  • 8: The Finnish Press 101
  • BEBLIOGRAPHY 113
  • 9: The Franco-American Press 115
  • Bibliography 128
  • 10: The German-American Press 131
  • Bibliography 158
  • 11: The Greek Press 161
  • Notes 174
  • Bibliography 176
  • 12: The Irish-American Press 177
  • Bibliography 188
  • 13: The Japanese-American Press 191
  • Bibliography 202
  • 14: The Jewish Press 203
  • Bibliography 227
  • 15: The Latvian and Lithuanian Press 229
  • Bibliography 236
  • Notes 242
  • Bibliography 244
  • 16: The Mexican-American Press 247
  • Bibliography 260
  • 17: The Norwegian-American Press 261
  • Bibliography 273
  • 18: The Polish-American Press 275
  • Bibliography 289
  • 19: The Portuguese Press 291
  • Bibliography 302
  • 20: The Puerto Rican Press 303
  • Bibliography 314
  • 21: The Romanian Press 315
  • Bibliography 324
  • 22: The Russian Press 325
  • Bibliography 335
  • 23: The Serbian Press 337
  • Bibliography 351
  • 24: The Slovak-American Press 353
  • Bibliography 368
  • 25: The Slovene-American Press 369
  • Bibliography 377
  • 26: The Swedish Press 379
  • Bibliography 391
  • 27: The Ukrainian Press 393
  • Bibliography 407
  • About the Editor and Contributors 409
  • Index 415
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