Write a letter home to your family in Ireland that describes your voyage to America in 1845, reception upon arrival, and your life in the city during the ten years you have been in the United States


Brandon Wencek 


         I agree with what Brandon has said. It is true that America was, to many outsiders, the land of promise and success. Little did these immigrants fleeing famine and diseases from Europe, especially the Irish, know that when they arrive there they would be subjected to the harshest of the American civilization. Americans subjected them unfairly to ruthless mishandling: expensive and squalid quarters only rental choice; low wages; constant revolts against monopolist landlords. They were subjected to disgusting xenophobic mistreatment; viewed as foreigners increasing unfair competition to the already scarce opportunities. They even applied the principle of “divide and rule”- unfairly setting brother against brother (which they had applied on the Indians to take away their lands), on the striking Irish to reduce the impact of their wage demands and maintain the status quo. It is difficult to fathom that Americans could subject their Irish brothers to blatant racial and economic segregation seen in the sickening Irish experience: congested and overpopulated cities; abject poverty; housing shortages, and filthy streets; poor living conditions for poorer workers forced into life in the dirty sections of the cities, which their low wages could afford; as well as illnesses and epidemics, as Americans enjoyed better life in the best parts of the cities. The whites viewed the Irish as sources of cheap labor for fueling their capitalistic lifestyle.


Mourad Elbaciti 窗体顶端

      Just as Mourad has argued, it is true that life in 19th century America was very harsh, especially on foreigners. The whites considered themselves a better breed than foreigners. Capitalism was taking root here and foreigners were subjected to the worst of experiences that made homesick. They subjected new arrivals to medical examination probably because they thought they had carried negative elements of their foreign cultures that would be disruptive to their enjoyable local lifestyles. I agree that foreigners were subjected to unfair living and labor conditions so that the rampant class segregation that was visible within the American society could be maintained. Americans believed that other races were inferior to the white race, and so placed the foreigners into the harshest living conditions: scarce shared rooms; costly rents; overcrowding; menial low-paying jobs; and job and racial discrimination. Some were lucky enough to save the little they earned for land purchases, hopeful that one day they would be reunited with their families.

Mourad Samuel Markuse

It is absolutely correct to accept the arguments by Samuel. 窗体顶端

The American society in the 19th century was not welcoming to foreigners. They suspiciously viewed foreigners as a threat to their economic way of life, and subjected them to unfair discrimination. Foreigners were viewed as a source for cheap labor and menial jobs, thereby condemning them into the harshest conditions of life and unbearable working conditions. It is also true according to this student that White Americans considered their culture and religion to be more superior to any other, thereby segregating themselves against blacks and the other foreigners on the basis of class, race and religion. These conditions caused nostalgia about home life, but these were determined to make meaning out of life, hoping things would improve. 

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