Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 226
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 226
important of the Protestant churches. The Catholic or Celtic Irish formed, in point of numbers, the most important class among the new immigrants. Those of their race who had come here in colonial days were for the most part only imported bond-servants and criminals. Unlike the Germans, they had never formed an element of appreciable weight in the community until after the Revolution. Soon after the opening of the present century they became the most numerous of the immigrants and began to form a class of New Yorkers whose importance steadily increased. They displayed little of the German frugality and aptitude for business, and hence remained to a far larger extent mere laborers,—comparatively few rising, at least for the first generation or two, to non-political positions of importance; and they furnished much more than their share to the city’s turbulent and lawless elements, for in their new surroundings they were easily misled by both native and foreign-born demagogues and agitators. On the other hand, they have invariably proved admirable soldiers when the city has sent out her quota of troops in time of war; they have taken little part in anarchical and socialistic movements, and—though this is a quality of a more doubtful kind—they have mastered the intricacies of local politics with astonishing ease. The improvement in their material condition became very marked



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