Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

1816 – Irish Immigration to US Begins along with Anti-Irish Sentiments in US

“In the century after 1820 [Irish immigration started in 1816], 5 million Irish immigrants came to the United States. Their presence provoked a strong reaction among certain native-born Americans, known as nativists, who denounced the Irish for their social behavior, their impact on the economy, and their Catholic religion… Nativists launched a sustained attack on Irish immigrants because of their Catholicism. In 1834 a mob burned down the Ursuline convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In 1836 nativists in New York published the Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk. An emotionally troubled young woman, Monk claimed to have witnessed debauchery and infanticide during her stay in a convent. The book became a huge best-seller. In 1844 nativist rioters burned two Catholic churches in the Philadelphia suburbs [including St. Michael’s Church shown here] in a dispute over which Bible to teach in public schools, the Catholic one or the Protestant King James version.”