Boston’s Immigrants: A Study in Acculturation Essay

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Boston’s Immigrants: A Study in Acculturation

Problem: Boston, with the makeup of a promising city, was struggling significantly toward the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century. What factors helped alleviate Boston from the middle of the rankings for American cities and guided it to become a model city for other Americans to view? With the mass arrival of people from Europe, why did people of Irish decent seem to be the frontrunners for work in the Boston area? Finally, even though the Irish became the crème of the crop in Boston, why were they frowned upon by both other Europeans and the native Americans?
Theses: Handlin throughout the text explains to us in great detail how Boston’s economic scene
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With the population and economy struggling, Boston looked for a change. Between the years 1750 and 1850 Europe underwent an Industrial Revolution that shifted its population from rural to urban areas. Landlords no longer found it necessary or profitable to keep migrant workers on their lands which led to only one option for peasants—emigration to America. There were many different groups of Europeans fleeing Europe at this time, but the most significant groups of people that relate to the city of Boston are those of Irish decent. Due to what the Irish went through back in Ireland, they had no choice but to settle in unfavorable Boston. Because Boston lacked many job opportunities, many of the Irish were forced into unemployment and struggled as best they could. Struggling to make a living as a skilled laborer, the Irish turned to jobs that required unskilled labor just to make a pretty penny. As word spread throughout the city of this “Irish help” many Irish men and women were hired to fulfill most of the city’s service jobs due to their reputation as having high spirits, loyalty, and cheap wages. Word had reached far and wide of this so called “Green Hand” and Boston became known as the labor reservoir. People came to the city in chance of recruiting the Irish for such public works as tunnels,
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