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| | |-+  Were the Irish really considered non white?
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Author Topic: Were the Irish really considered non white?  (Read 427 times)
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« on: December 05, 2016, 02:50:12 pm »
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And if so, how did they vote? Most states only allowed white people to vote before the 15th Amendment was passed, and yet obviously the Irish immigrants voted in large numbers.

Something tells me there is an oversimplification going on here.
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 04:03:49 pm »
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I assume this is in reference to one of my posts in another thread.  I remember in college our Civil War & Reconstruction teacher showing us Republican pamphlets portraying Irish draft protesters as monkeys and more or lest insinuating they were less than human.  A most telling quote that kind of throws how we look at that era from a "tolerance perspective" was from Stephen Douglas...  I can get you the exact quote when I get home, but it is from the book Half Slave, Half Free by Bruce Levine.  Douglas, when referring to the 1858 or 1860 elections (can't remember), said something to the effect of, "let us make this election a question of tolerance; only the Democrats are willing to accept all White men as equals, regardless of his country of origin, region or class status.  The anti-immigrant and anti-Southern bigotry of the Republicans will be rejected far and wide."  That, at the very least, suggests that Irish folks were viewed much like Hispanics are today, IMO.

Kind of shows you that not very many people had ACTUAL concern about Blacks' rights up there on the list of things that you would use to judge how "tolerant" someone was.  The GOP certainly wasn't viewed by all as a fighting force for enlightenment and tolerance, though we now simplify it down to "supported slavery" vs. "opposed slavery."

Again, I will post the actual quote later.
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 06:53:13 pm »
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Well there's a huge difference between some people considering them to be less than human, and society at large thinking that way. I just think it's not helpful to make blanket generalities. There are people today who literally believe the Irish were treated just as bad as, or even worse than, black people. That's obviously false, and yet no one mentions it.
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 08:33:47 pm »

Keep in mind that for many Republicans of the 1850s, the reason they opposed slavery was not because of it being unfair to Negroes, but because they wanted to live in an all-white society.
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 08:43:07 pm »
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Keep in mind that for many Republicans of the 1850s, the reason they opposed slavery was not because of it being unfair to Negroes, but because they wanted to live in an all-white society.

And many in the Northern manufacturing elite saw it as an unfair advantage for Southern business leaders, as they didn't have to pay for labor.
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« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:52:45 pm »
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How ingrained is anti-Irish bigotry in our society? What elements of it can we still see today?
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« Reply #6 on: Today at 04:57:52 pm »
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How ingrained is anti-Irish bigotry in our society? What elements of it can we still see today?

We aren't talking about today here. This is the history board.
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« Reply #7 on: Today at 05:46:35 pm »
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How ingrained is anti-Irish bigotry in our society? What elements of it can we still see today?

We aren't talking about today here. This is the history board.
I should probably rephrase it a bit, what I'm interested in is when anti-Irish bigotry stopped being a major factor in politics.
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« Reply #8 on: Today at 06:36:42 pm »
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How ingrained is anti-Irish bigotry in our society? What elements of it can we still see today?

We aren't talking about today here. This is the history board.
I should probably rephrase it a bit, what I'm interested in is when anti-Irish bigotry stopped being a major factor in politics.

Oh. Sorry. I misinterpreted it.
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« Reply #9 on: Today at 06:55:39 pm »
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How ingrained is anti-Irish bigotry in our society? What elements of it can we still see today?

We aren't talking about today here. This is the history board.
I should probably rephrase it a bit, what I'm interested in is when anti-Irish bigotry stopped being a major factor in politics.

Oh. Sorry. I misinterpreted it.
Nah, I didn't make my initial question clear enough to start with.
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« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:58:02 pm »
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A monolithic "White" identity in the United States did not exist until the 20th century.  In parts of the urban north, it probably wouldn't have occurred until the 1960s or 1970s.  
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