Nursery Rhymes

Irish Immigration to America Timeline

The first significant Irish Immigration to America started with the forced migration of the Irish race as involuntary indentured servants. The mass voluntary immigration was in the 1800's during the devastation and destruction caused by the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849).

The History Timeline of Irish Immigration to America includes important dates and events in the history of Ireland that contributed to the push and pull factors which led to mass immigration from Ireland.

Irish Immigration to America Timeline
The Irish Immigration to America Timeline highlights the Push and Pull factors of immigration such as political and religious persecution, wars that occured in Ireland together with dates of any natural disasters such as floods, plague, crop failures and famine.

The dates and types of religious and political conflicts and the natural disasters that afflicted Ireland, including the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849) are highlighted in the Irish Immigration to America Timeline enabling kids and students to understand the history of immigration from Ireland to the United States. Also refer to the Timeline of Scots-Irish Immigration to America.

Irish Immigration to America Timeline
Irish Immigration to America totalled 5 million, the majority adhered to the Roman Catholic religion. According to the US Bureau of the Census of 2011 a total of 35,523,082 Americans claimed to be solely or partially of Irish descent. Irish-Americans made a significant impact on the culture of Americans and the history of the United States as can be seen in the following timeline detailing these immigrants to America.    



Protestant Oliver Cromwell ruled England and between 1641 and 1652 he reduced the Irish population by two thirds either in battle or by forced migration as involuntary indentured Servants



Strict Anti-Catholic Laws were introduced and by the early 1700's Irish Catholics held just 7% of land in Ireland. The law prevented the immigration of Catholics to America.



The Presbyterian Scots-Irish had emigrated from the Scottish lowlands to the Ulster region of Northern Ireland to escape religious prosecution. The majority of immigrants in this period were Scots-Irish from Ulster who wanted to escape from British rule.



In the 1740s the Irish made up 9 out of 10 indentured servants in some of the colonies. The reason was the  Irish Famine of 1740 - 1741 also known as the Year of Slaughter or the Great Frost in which an estimated 38% o the population died



Many Irish-Americans fought against British tyranny in the American War of Independence (1775–1783)



The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. The signers included several Irish-Americans.



The Anti-Catholic Penal Laws were repealed in England and Catholics were allowed to emigrate to America.



The year 1816 is known as the Poverty Year or the 'Year Without a Summer'. Fog, freezing temperatures and heavy rains in north and southwest Ireland resulted in the failure of wheat, oats, and potato harvests and a terrible famine.



The Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849), the 'Great Hunger', swept Ireland bringing in its wake death and disease from typhus and dysentery. During the Irish Potato Famine the population of Ireland dropped from 8 million to 6 million. The voyage to America was made on what were called the " Famine Ships" or the "Coffin Ships".



Nearly 1 million Irish, including a large number of Catholics, immigrated to the United States, nearly half of all immigrants to America. The majority worked on large construction projects and in the coal mines.



The anti-Catholic Know Nothing Party emerged that wanted to limit or end the influence of Irish Catholics and other immigrants



The financial Panic of 1873 led to the six year period called the 'Long Depression' that led to civil unrest and strikes and an increase in Anti-immigrant sentiments.



The 'Long Strike of 1875' was initiated by Irishmen called the Molly Maguires. The Molly Maguires went on strike in the  Pennsylvania coal fields to protest against the appalling working conditions in the mines.



The 'Long Strike of 1875' by the Molly Maguires turned to violence and many  Molly Maguires were arrested. On June 21, 1877, 20 members of the Molly Maguires were unjustly hanged for murder, and would later receive posthumous pardons.



The Irish famine of 1879, often referred to as the sometimes called the "mini-famine" or 'An Gorta Beag' was the last major Irish famine.



Immigration levels to the United States reached unprecedented levels. Between 1881 - 1890 5,246,613 immigrants would arrive in the United States. The US government were forced to take action and a law called the 1882 Immigration Act was passed restricting immigration.



The 1891 Immigration Act regulated the inspection and deportation of immigrants and led to the opening of the Ellis Island immigration center.



The Ellis Island immigration center (1892 - 1954) was opened where immigrants from Europe, including Ireland, were subjected to medical and legal examinations. The Ellis Island immigration center was a frightening ordeal although less than 2% of immigrants from Ireland were turned away.



The Panic of 1893 4 year resulted in a 4 year economic depression with a 20% unemployment rate leading to more discrimination and prejudice



The restrictive 1907 Immigration law was passed. Between 1901 and 1910 immigration levels reached an unprecedented height as a total of 8,795,386 immigrants arrived in the United States.



The 1921 Emergency Quota Act used a percentage system to restrict the number of immigrants to America.



The Immigration Law of 1924 restricted immigration still further. 87% of entry permits went to immigrants from Ireland, Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia.



The 1965 Hart-Cellar Act lifted origin by nation restrictions on immigration

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