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The Struggle for Equality - Essay Example

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However, for purposes of this brief analysis, the author will consider the case of Irish immigrants. Whereas it might be assumed that Irish immigrants had a relatively easy immigrant experience, based upon the fact that they were partially similar to existing immigrants that comprise the United States, the fact of the matter is that immigrant experience of the Irish was oftentimes every bit as difficult, if not more, as compared to even more socially or culturally dissimilar groups. The equality differential that Irish immigrants faced was not based upon race per se; instead, it was based upon religion, cultural dissimilarity, bias, and a view that stereotypes concerning ability and intelligence, as well as role within society, should be enforced.
In terms of citizenship and the ability for immigrants to gain it, the United States was relatively open. During the massive waves of Irish immigration that took place during the late 1800s, as a result of the Irish potato famine, the United States continued to exhibit a very open immigration policy and clear path to citizenship. However, the overall level to which this luxury was afforded to Irish immigrants did not encapsulate the entire immigration experience. Whereas it is true that it has to immigration, education, suffrage, and civil liberties existed, there were still massive disparities with respect to availability of housing, employment opportunities, and pervasive and continual societal judgments with respect to whether or not this particular group should continue to be viewed as outsiders more should be accepted into the melting pot of American society. As has been alluded to within the introduction, one of the main reasons for why this particular group was so ostracized was not based upon skin color, race, or even language; instead, it was based upon the fact that the vast majority of Irish immigrants were Roman Catholics; something that was viewed as deeply “un-American” in a ...Show more
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The immigrant experience within the United States is something that has proven extraordinarily challenging; especially two groups of immigrants from regions that did not share a certain level of historical harmony or cultural similarity with that of existing residents within the…
The Struggle for Equality
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