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Because most servants lived in the home where they worked, they were separated from their communities. Most of all, the American stigma on domestic work suggested that Irish women were failures who had "about the same intelligence as that of an old grey-headed negro.

Although the Irish Catholics started very low on the social status scale, by they had jobs and earnings about equal on average to their neighbors. This was largely due to their ability to speak English when they arrived. The Irish were able to rise quickly within the working world, unlike non-English speaking immigrants. After , the Catholic Irish consistently ranked at the top of the social hierarchy, thanks especially to their high rate of college attendance, and due to that many Irish American men have risen to higher socio-economic table.

After the early example of Charles Lynch , Irish immigrants quickly found employment in the police departments, fire departments and other public services of major cities, largely in the Northeast and around the Great Lakes. Matsell — , [88] almost 17 percent of the police department's officers were Irish-born compared to Up to the 20th and early 21st century, Irish Catholics continue to be prominent in the law enforcement community, especially in the Northeastern United States. Towards the end of the 19th century, schoolteaching became the most desirable occupation for the second generation of female Irish immigrants.

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Teaching was similar to domestic work for the first generation of Irish immigrants in that it was a popular job and one that relied on a woman's decision to remain unmarried. Irish schools prepared young single women to support themselves in a new country, which inspired them to instill the importance of education, college training, and a profession in their American-born daughters even more than in their sons.

Evidence from schools in New York City illustrate the upward trend of Irish women as teachers: "as early as , twenty percent of all schoolteachers were Irish women, and Upon arrival in the United States, many Irish women became Catholic nuns and participated in the many American sisterhoods, especially those in St. Louis in Missouri, St. Paul in Minnesota, and Troy in New York. Additionally, the women who settled in these communities were often sent back to Ireland to recruit. This kind of religious lifestyle appealed to Irish female immigrants because they outnumbered their male counterparts and the Irish cultural tendency to postpone marriage often promoted gender separation and celibacy.

Furthermore, "the Catholic church, clergy, and women religious were highly respected in Ireland," making the sisterhoods particularly attractive to Irish immigrants.

Religion has been important to the Irish American identity in America, and continues to play a major role in their communities. Irish Americans today are predominantly Protestant with a Catholic minority. The Protestants' ancestors arrived primarily in the colonial era, while Catholics are primarily descended from immigrants of the 19th century. Irish leaders have been prominent in the Catholic Church in the United States for over years. The Irish have been leaders in the Presbyterian and Methodist traditions, as well. It is common for Protestant Scotch-Irish Americans to call themselves "Irish", in particular because most immigration to colonial America was of Protestant settlers, so there was no need to distinguish themselves from Irish Catholics.

Between and , the majority of emigrants from Ireland to America were Protestants [99] who were described simply as "Irish". Some of the descendants of the colonial Irish Protestant settlers from Ulster began thereafter to redefine themselves as "Scotch Irish", to stress their historic origins, and distanced themselves from Irish Catholics; [] others continued to call themselves Irish, especially in areas of the South which saw little Irish Catholic immigration. Some Protestant Irish immigrants became active in explicitly anti-Catholic organizations such as the Orange Institution and the American Protective Association.

However, participation in the Orange Institution was never as large in the United States as it was in Canada. Loyalists and Orangemen made up a minority of Irish Protestant immigrants to the United States during this period. Most of the Irish loyalist emigration was bound for Upper Canada and the Canadian Maritime provinces , where Orange lodges were able to flourish under the British flag.

By , when there were about Orange lodges in the Canadian province of Ontario , there were only 43 in the entire eastern United States. These few American lodges were founded by newly arriving Protestant Irish immigrants in coastal cities such as Philadelphia and New York. Several Orangemen were arrested and found guilty of inciting the riot. According to the State prosecutor in the court record, "the Orange celebration was until then unknown in the country.

Orangemen, Ribbonmen, and United Irishmen are alike unknown.

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They are all entitled to protection by the laws of the country. The later Orange Riots of and killed nearly 70 people, and were fought out between Irish Protestant and Catholic immigrants. After this the activities of the Orange Order were banned for a time, the Order dissolved, and most members joined Masonic orders. After , there were no more riots between Irish Catholics and Protestants. America offered a new beginning, and " Irish priests especially Dominicans , Franciscans , Augustinians and Capuchins came to the large cities of the East in the s, and when new dioceses were erected in the first bishop of New York was an Irishman in recognition of the contribution of the early Irish clergy.

Saint Patrick's Battalion San Patricios was a group of several hundred immigrant soldiers, the majority Irish, who deserted the U. Army during the Mexican—American War because of ill treatment or sympathetic leanings to fellow Mexican Catholics.

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They joined the Mexican army. In Boston between and there had been serious tensions between the bishop and the laity who wanted to control the local parishes. By , the Catholic population in Boston had increased to 30, from around 5, in , due to the influx of Irish immigrants. With the appointment of John B. Fitzpatrick as bishop in , tensions subsided as the increasingly Irish Catholic community grew to support Fitzpatrick's assertion of the bishop's control of parish government. Hughes supported Daniel O'Connell 's Catholic emancipation movement in Ireland, but rejected such radical and violent societies as the Young Irelanders and the National Brotherhood.

Hughes also disapproved of American Irish radical fringe groups, urging immigrants to assimilate themselves into American life while remaining patriotic to Ireland "only individually". In the s, Hughes crusaded for public-funded Irish Schools modeled after the successful Irish public school system in Lowell, Massachusetts. Hughes denounced the Public School Society of New York as an extension of an Old-World struggle whose outcome was directed not by understanding of the basic problems but, rather, by mutual mistrust and violently inflamed emotions.

For Irish Catholics, the motivation lay largely in memory of British oppression, while their antagonists were dominated by the English Protestant historic fear of papal interference in civil affairs. Because of the vehemence of this quarrel, the New York Legislature passed the Maclay Act in , giving New York City an elective Board of Education empowered to build and supervise schools and distribute the education fund—but with the proviso that none of the money should go to schools which taught religion. Hughes responded by building an elaborate parochial school system that stretched to the college level, setting a policy followed in other large cities.

Efforts to get city or state funding failed because of vehement Protestant opposition to a system that rivaled the public schools. In the west, Catholic Irish were having a large effect as well. The open west attracted many Irish immigrants. Many of these immigrants were Catholic.

When they migrated west, they would form "little pockets" with other Irish immigrants. Other ways religion played a part in these towns was the fact that many were started by Irish Catholic priests. His influence over early stages Kansas City was great, and so the Catholic religion was spread to other settlers who arrived. In other western communities, Irish priests wanted to convert the Native Americans to Catholicism. Fordham was founded in and attracted students from other regions of the United States, and even South America and the Caribbean.

At first exclusively a liberal arts institution, it built a science building in , lending more legitimacy to science in the curriculum there. In addition, a three-year bachelor of science degree was created. It offered a rather limited intellectual curriculum, however, with the priests at Boston College prioritizing spiritual and sacramental activities over intellectual pursuits.

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One consequence was that Harvard Law School would not admit Boston College graduates to its law school. Modern Jesuit leadership in American academia was not to become their hallmark across all institutions until the 20th century. The Irish became prominent in the leadership of the Catholic Church in the U. The Scots-Irish who settled in the back country of colonial America were largely Presbyterians. He was educated in the University of Glasgow and set out to organize and initiate the construction of several Presbyterian Churches throughout Maryland and Virginia.

Makemie became one of the wealthiest immigrants to colonial America, owning more than 5, acres and 33 slaves. New Light Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey, later renamed Princeton University , in in order to train ministers dedicated to their views.

Robert Strawbridge Early Years in Ireland