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"The Irish Way" by James Barrett

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A number of conflicts have been analyzed in The Irish Way book by James Barrett. During the time of the first group of Northern Ireland settlement in America and the subsequent arrival of Gaelic Irish, they were mainly discriminated upon, and different stereotypes arose against them. Native America feared immigrants, as they perceived them as a threat to their national cohesion, culture and as competitors on the available resources and opportunities. This, therefore, explained the hostility they faced during their arrival in America. They faced prejudice and hostility and phrases were coined that were meant to demoralize them. A term “Paddy Irishman” was part of racial slurs that were hailed on them. The situation was to change later as they etched themselves deeper into the American society. The progress of the Irish American in 19th to 20th century came from the political realm and in the same token criminal realm.

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As the years went by; the Irish became more American simply through assimilation. It happened naturally through their everyday contact with other racial groups. Going through the school system allowed them to have English as there first language opening up new opportunity’s. Irish Americans entered the different fields across the work sector. From teachers to policemen Irish Americans were fully assimilating into American culture. Once they started running for election things really started to change. With their big personality’s and improved in the social economic environment new Irish American politicians emerged. As Barret notes, they serve as activist’s who greatly helped elevate the Irish American status.

The Irish soon discovered the power of their vote and used it to elect and elected a charismatic young man by the name of William Tweed into office, shortly after that the Irish began to take control through corruption and what would turn into organized crime in years to come. Tweed's years in power lead to many criminal acts and many questionable decisions like forcing contractors to hire Irish companies to do jobs, or only giving curtain contracts to Irish workers this was in its self the first true organized crime group.

After years of oppression and hard work, the Irish found themselves as equals to the rest of the “whites” in society. However, this did not happen without the help of illegal activities, and questionable events in history. Without the stubbornness of the Irish to want to become American and their unrelenting need to be equals, this may have never happened in history until the late 20th century. The Irish fought tooth and nail for their rights and many were killed in the events that occurred, this also leads to organized crime in America. However, unlike how other groups fought for equality the Irish are one of the groups who let the issue fade so that there would not be more unnecessary issues or violence towards there people. Now the discrimination against the Irish is not widely known but they overcame a lot and the progress Irish Americans have made has greatly influenced this country.

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