Program on Irish in the American Civil War

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The number of immigrants arriving in the US after 1844 was very sensitive to the strength of the US economy. When work was scare, letters home were less encouraging and contained less money.
The decline in immigration from 1857-1861 was most likely due to the end of the Gold Rush and a financial crash in the US.
If the new immigrants felt that slow down, its evidence that the US citizens felt it too. While the cotton boom went on in the south, and they continued to support their wing of the Democratic party, nothing like that protected the northern states' economy.
The behavior of immigrants probably is a clue of the real issue that northern voters could feel at work and on their farms. Low wages, scare work, and low commodity prices must have been a big factor working against Douglas in the north. The voters probably felt the Democrats had been given a chance, and by 1860 it was the Republicans turn.
The issue of slavery was important in the election. But it was important with respect to getting out of the west, getting western expansion going and getting the investment cycle booming again.
Immigrants produce the evidence.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Similarly, much was written about the reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation, but people who bet their future on the US by immigrating were encouraged. Foreign immigration picked up as early as 1863.
The anti-immigrant frenzy of 1920 and thereafter, along with the two world wars, saw immigrants written out of Civil War history. That leaves a huge gap for @Pat Young to fill.
One of the primary reasons the US economy took a huge leap forward after the US Civil War is shown in the immigration statistics.
Large numbers of immigrants, and war evaders claiming to be immigrants, came streaming into the US from Br No Amer from 1865 onward. This is strong evidence that US patriotism on both sides was tempered by the instinct for self preservation.
Tens of thousands of Irish and English working class people came to the US. While immigration was sensitive to the US economy, the massive slow down in the British textile industry in 1867 also boosted immigration to the US.
Stiff resistance to popular enfranchisement in Britain had to contrast sharply with active recruitment of immigrant voters in the US especially by the Democrats.
The German immigrants started coming over in huge numbers, usually bringing some savings with them, and having a community destination in mind.
Their economic impact was decisive. The immigrants greatly added to the population growth. The national debt was slightly reduced in the 15 years after the Civil War. But population growth was so strong, and incomes were steadily rising, that the per capita impact of the debt was no longer worrisome.
It all became forgotten, perhaps deliberately.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Whenever I hear about the Irish in/coming to America it has me thinking about the song Paddy's Lamentation. If anyone has not heard of it give it a listen.
Most immigrant groups have unbearably sad songs of about what caused them to emigrate and the realization that what they had come to had its own misfortunes. Some, like the Irish "Paddy's Lament," are straight-forward; others, like the Norwegian "Oleanna", are so dripping with sarcasm that they are difficult to interpret correctly. . It was tough business being an immigrant.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
People want to ignore that by 1870 an a very high % of children in the US had at least one foreign born parent. Pat probably knows how to find the number.
 
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