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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Before 1840, the place of Ireland in the development of what became the United States was informed by a number of factors: religious, commercial, political, and most obviously, the nature and impact of emigration. As the settlement of America moved from the eastern seaboard beyond ‘the frontier’ and into the mid-west, Irish immigrants followed. As they did so, they also reflected the realities of their adopted country: expansion would not necessarily be dictated by the values of the eastern patriarchs who had directed the course of colonial and early-national politics and society. No less than the country at large, the Irish who settled in places like Chicago and New Orleans were not inclined to defer to their cousins in New York, Boston, or Philadelphia. To this extent, Irish immigrants remained as an important reference for the broader development of America just as they had been before 1776.

Keywords: Emigration, Immigration, Irish-America, Scots-Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, Philadelphia, New York, Erie Canal, O’Connell, Penal Laws

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