1-4 Discussion: Change Over Time | Homework Writings Help

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This is a discussion and introduction to my classmates. I will be doing the introduction before I post it for a grade. I also will need a response done on classmates. Will post them when tutor is approved.

Then, as you read the webtext, respond to the following prompt in one to two paragraphs.

Choose a sentence or short section from the article embedded in your webtext reading about Irish immigration. Copy and paste the sentence or section into your discussion post. Along with this sentence or section, briefly explain how your choice illustrates the concept of change over time.

You should also answer the following questions in your post:

  • How does this article give you a better understanding of the changing perception of Irish immigrants in America?
  • What forces allowed the Irish to be assimilated into U.S. culture despite initial resistance?

In response to your peers, compare and contrast their understanding of the changing perceptions of Irish immigrants to your own understanding of those changing perceptions.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

Exercise: Further Readings

As you begin research for your historical analysis essay, you will encounter secondary sources, such as scholarly journals and periodicals. The following passage is from a scholarly journal article that looks at possible job discrimination against the Irish in Major League Baseball during the 1880s. Read the passage and then answer the question following it, keeping in mind the historical concept of change over time.

The passage below is excerpted from “Anti-Irish Job Discrimination circa 1880: Evidence from Major League Baseball”, pages 409 to 410 and 415 to 416. Click on the title of the article to read, download, and print a copy of the text. These readings are provided by the Shapiro Library. This reading is required. You will have to log into Shapiro Library with your SNHU credentials to access this article.

The Famine Irish

From about 1846 to the early 1850s Ireland was beset by a series of disastrous failures of the potato crop, a staple for poor peasants in the rural western and southern counties. One outcome was an estimated 1.1 to 1.5 million deaths from starvation and related diseases, roughly 15 percent of the country’s pre- famine population (Kenny 2000: 89). Another was a mass exodus, primarily to the United States. About 1.5 million Irish entered the United States from 1846 to 1855, by far the largest immigrant wave up to that time. This was 45.6 percent of total U.S. immigration in the 1840s and 35.2 percent in the 1850s (ibid.: 90). The wave subsided after the mid-1850s (Hatton and Williamson 1993: 596).

The famine immigrants tended to settle in large northeastern cities, often the ports where their transporting ships landed. In 1850, 37 percent of the U.S. Irish-born population lived in cities of 25,000 or more, compared to just under 9 percent of the general population (Kenny 2000: 105). In 1870, 44.5 percent of the Irish-born lived in the 50 largest cities (ibid.). They remained in these alien urban environments partly because they had no money to move inland and partly because their experience back home as farm laborers and small-scale tenant farmers had not prepared them for success in American agriculture. Once settled, Irish immigrants quickly discovered that their rural, underdeveloped homeland had provided very little in the way of industrial experience or skill, forcing them to the bottom of the occupational hierarchy (Laurie et al. 1975: 240). The result was a concentration of the Irish in big-city tenement slums.

All these circumstances made the Irish quite conspicuous and worked against their rapid assimilation. William H. A. Williams (1996: 1) writes: “Irish Catholics were in many respects the first ‘ethnic’ group in America . . . the first immigrant group to arrive in extremely large numbers, to gain high visibility by clustering in cities . . . , and to appear sufficiently ‘different’ in religion and culture so that acceptance by native-born Americans was not automatic, and assimilation was, therefore, prolonged.” Although most spoke English in addition to their native Irish (Gaelic), this was insufficient to overcome their various disadvantages.

The native-born U.S. population reacted in part by developing negative Irish stereotypes similar to those associated with bigotry toward African Americans. The long history of English domination of Ireland already had planted notions of Irish inferiority that English immigrants had brought with them in the two centuries before the famine exodus. In fact, the Irish generally were viewed as a separate “race,” although the term would hardly be applied to Irish Americans today. The basic elements of the stereotype were innate low intelligence, unreliability, laziness, and (for males) a penchant for drunkenness and fighting. Newspaper and magazine cartoonists of the era often portrayed the Irish with simian features. They were regularly characterized as racially inferior to Americans of Anglo-Saxon origin, even in the pages of respectable intellectual periodicals (Kenny 2006: 366; Lee 2006: 25).

In contrast, the other main non-English immigrant group of the period, the Germans (Cohn 1995), assimilated much more easily. While language was a problem, they were more highly educated and skilled than the Irish. In 1860 German men were most highly concentrated in skilled crafts, in contrast to the Irish, who were disproportionately made up of unskilled laborers (Conley and Galenson 1998: 471). Also, German immigrants had been preceded by numerous fellow “countrymen” during the previous century who had paved the way by establishing themselves economically and socially in America. The stereotypical German was hardworking, disciplined, earnest, and frugal (Gerlach 2002: 39). While the famine Irish had been preceded by a steady stream of Scots-Irish, starting in the early 1700s these non-Gaelic Protestants from the north of Ireland were a distinct group (Chepesiuk 2000). They generally settled in inland rural areas (e.g., Appalachia and the southern Piedmont), and where the two groups coexisted, the Scots-Irish were often antagonistic toward the new immigrants.

The Irish ballplayers circa 1880, during our study period, were mainly the sons of the famine immigrants. While assimilation had clearly begun by this time, it was hardly complete. For example, Kerby A. Miller (1985: 492) notes: “Between 1870 and 1921 Irish-Americans emerged from the near ubiquitous poverty and crippling prejudice of the Famine decades. The process was slow, halting, and incomplete even by 1921.” Negative stereotypes lingered after the turn of the twentieth century, and the popular press continued to portray the Irish with simian features at least into the 1890s.

Early Professional Baseball

The origin of major-league baseball is usually identified with the 1876 founding of the National League (NL), which has operated continuously to the present day. It joined with the American League in 1903 to form modern Major League Baseball (MLB). The NL’s basic business model and operating format at its inception were essentially the same as those of modern professional baseball, as were most playing rules.

There were, however, some important differences circa 1880. First, league membership typically changed from year to year (see Eckard 2005). For example, by 1881 only Boston and Chicago remained of the original eight NL clubs. During 1876-83, 18 cities were represented. The NL had eight teams in each of these years except 1877 and 1878, when it had six.

A second difference was the entry of independent major leagues. In 1882 the American Association (AA) began play, recognized then and now as a second major league. The AA fielded six teams in its first year and eight in its second. It lasted for a decade before merging with the NL in 1892. In 1884 the Union Association (UA) claimed major status, although it lasted but a single season. It was highly unstable with several midseason failures. Including replacements, 13 cities were involved in its eight-team circuit. In response to this entry, the AA expanded to 12 teams for 1884 but with one failure and replacement also included 13 cities. Thus the total number of major-league teams more than doubled from 16 in 1883 to a still record 34 in 1884, with a concurrent significant dilution of player quality.

The season lasted from April to October, nearly as long as today, but fewer games were scheduled. During 1876-83 the number varied from only 60 (1877 and 1878) to 98 (1883), spread more or less evenly over the six-month season. Major-league clubs augmented their “championship” schedule with exhibition games against independent teams. An important difference in playing rules is that midgame player substitutions were allowed only in the case of injury. Thus there was no pinch-hitting, pinch-running, or late-game defensive substitution. Nor was there relief pitching as we know it today. A pitcher removed for poor performance had to trade positions with another player already in the game who could also pitch (called a “change” pitcher). But this seldom occurred; pitchers usually completed over 90 percent of their starts. Partly for this reason, circa 1880 pitchers were used much more intensively than today, with teams relying primarily on only one or two pitchers for the entire season. Also, pitchers often played in the field in games in which they did not pitch.

For all these reasons, rosters seldom had more than a dozen players at any one time, fewer than half the number on modern MLB teams. Clubs often took only 10 men on road trips plus a nonplaying agent of the owners responsible for general supervision and business matters. Player salaries circa 1880 varied roughly from $500 to $2,500, comparable to the wages of skilled craftsmen and many white-collar workers (see Voigt 1983: 56-57, 81). Contracts were typically for a single year, and contrary to myth, “revolving” or contract jumping among major-league teams was virtually nonexistent (Eckard 2001).

The first successful attempt by NL owners to limit competition for players was the partial reserve system introduced in 1880, applying to five players per team. Owners agreed among themselves not to bid for players reserved by other teams. But in 1880 and 1881 a few significant independent clubs still competed for top players (Eckard 2005: 127-28), undermining the resulting monopsony power. The nascent reserve system collapsed in 1882, when the entry of the AA caused a bidding war for players. In 1883 the AA and the NL agreed on a joint system, although it worked imperfectly before collapsing again with the 1884 entry of the UA.

If you’re interested in reading more about the Irish immigrant experience on your own, you might also be interested in these optional readings:

  • Abolitionists, Irish Immigrants, and the Dilemmas of Romantic Nationalism: An article on the frictions between Irish immigrants and African Americans and the reluctance of many Irish to support the abolition of slavery. You can read it at this link.
  • Ethnic Diversity and Democratic Stability: The Case of Irish Americans: An analysis of the involvement of Irish immigrants in 19th-century Democratic machine politics. You can read it at this link.

1st response needed

Corey Rollison: Irish immigration and assimilation.

Contains unread posts

Corey Rollison posted Mar 3, 2020 10:24 AM

Personal Introduction

Hello, my name is Corey Rollison and you can call me Corey, I’m 47 and married. I am from South Dakota originally and I moved to Arizona in 1998 after being honorably discharged from the US Air Force. My major is General Studies with a concentration in Operations Management, and I am the Telecom/Wireless Telecom/Procurement manager for the Arizona Army National Guard in Phoenix, AZ. My responsibility is to provide our guard units with any and all telecom support. We deploy a fleet of mobile as well as hard line telecommunication solutions. I also procure telecom related services, visual information, administrative (document shredding and data storage) and other services used by our guard members.

I am pursuing a BS.GS to enrich myself and to expand my employment opportunities. Of course, making more money is a good thing, however it is not my only motivation for getting a degree. Since I work in government and have always been around veterans, I would like to experience what it is like to work in a civilian workplace. One of my goals is to go into the health care industry as a logistics professional. I’ve worked as a logistics officer in the Army and have worked in government logistics for 14 years. Every industry value experience and education differently, but as technology advances and the employee pool advances a degree is very important. I plan on combining my experience with a degree in order to improve my life significantly.

Irish Immigration example:

*The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840’s led to an enormous movement of Irish immigrants to the U.S. But what were the most important effects of this historical event? One historian might argue that the vast influx of Irish immigrants was good for the American economy because it contributed to the rapid industrialization of the American North, providing a large pool of cheap factory labor in the major coastal cities where most of the immigrant Irish settled.

  1. How does this article give you a better understanding of the changing perception of Irish immigrants in America?

History reveals that Irish immigrants initially were thought of as second-class citizens in America. The anti-Catholic sentiment, and just general prejudices that existed in the mostly WASP (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) northeast. These were the upper class that either owned factories or employed the Irish in their homes as servants. The most glaring example of this prejudice were signs that read “Irish need not apply”.

Just as time heals all wounds, time also allows understanding and acceptance. As with anything new and unknown, acceptance is tentative at best. But once the Irish became established and contributed positively to society, acceptance was ensured. Granted there are going to be people with prejudice, but not everyone will be on board with legal immigration no matter what the rest of us think. Whether that prejudice is just instilled in their psyche or their prejudices have other motivations, unfortunately prejudice will always be present.

  1. What forces allowed the Irish to be assimilated into U.S. culture despite initial resistance?

After being treated as second class citizens for so long, Irish immigrants started to fill positions such as labor leaders, political posts, police, fireman and teachers. Second and third generation Irishman had it better than their grandparents and parents did by becoming more educated and thus becoming wealthier. One of the Irish’s favorite sons, John F. Kennedy became President of the United States. This was done by improving their situation one generation at a time. By creating their own communities and installing their own leadership the Irish assimilated into U.S. culture.[1]

[1] “Adoption and Assimilation” Library of Congress (Article read on 3 March 2020) Retrieved fromhttps://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/irish3.html

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