Stereotypes Of The Irish During The Nineteenth Century

704 Words 3 Pages
During the nineteenth century, English oppression in Ireland forced the Irish to leave their homeland. Some of the Irish sought the United States as a place of refuge due to rumors of a better life and prospects of jobs. However, conditions for them in the United States did not improve. Despite having white skin, the Irish did not experience the benefits of being white at the time, White Americans saw the Irish a another low race. They also saw the Irish as being inferior and ignorant. As a result, these perceptions led to the Irish being subject to discrimination in society. Since race is a social construct that is used to identify groups of people using ideologies, the Irish during the nineteenth century clearly illustrated racial formation. …show more content…
Their cultural representation was more apparent and heavily intersected with the concept of social class. Due to their negative ideologies about Irish workers such as their perceived characteristics, the Irish were immobile in their low social standing. Since Irish workers were not as favored, Irish men had to work dangerous jobs that usually had a higher death rate than normal jobs while also receiving a low income. In addition, they were seen as more expendable compared to other laborers of other races since they were valued less. For example, “A planter told a northern visitor that he had hired an Irish gang rather than use his own slaves to drain a flooded area. ‘It’s dangerous work,’ he explained, ‘and a negro’s life is too valuable to be risked at it…” (142). Irish women faced a similar situation of having to work low jobs. The women had to work menial jobs, such as being maids or workers in factories which gave them little ability to move to a higher social class. Overall, hard labor that paid a lot less kept the Irish at the bottom of the social ladder. “...Irish workers were condemned for their alleged negative traits. They were dismissed from their jobs for laziness, gambling, drinking, and ‘other debaucheries’...” (141). As a result, the Irish workers were subject to ideologies of being an inferior race which heavily affected

Related Documents