The main purpose of this study is to analyse the decisions of German, Scandinavian and Irish to emigrate and to compare and contrast the lives they built in the place they migrated. In addition, this paper will also discuss and evaluate the extent of their success in realising their dreams. Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America can be considered as an informative, provocative, corollary text for studying the lives of immigrants. Takaki's writing of history focuses on discrimination in law and immigration policy as well as its effects on the experiences of Irish and other immigrants of color.
His accounts highlight the tension between instances when Irish immigrants have been allowed to "count" as Americans (when they exemplified the success of the model minority) and when they have been marked as a part of the society. His reading of immigration history reinforces that, at least in terms of immigration policy, naturalization law, and suffrage, Irish immigrants are bonded by their inevitable difference, the "different shore" whence they came. His careful detailing of historical events serves as a reminder that what Asian Americans face is "profoundly different from the experiences of European immigrants.
Throughout this comprehensive book, Takaki chronicles the devastating treatment of various ethnic and immigrant groups. The story of the Irish immigrants has been shown in chapter 6 of the book. In this book, the author discusses the struggle of the Irish immigrants for economic, social, and political equality. The book outlines the struggles of the Irish people while they are trying to make a new life in the US, specifically discrimination, racism, poverty and the riot caused by discriminatory draft regulation (Takaki, 1993).
Other immigrants which has been mentioned in the book of Gjerde (1998), includes German and Scandinavian. In all the three documents, it can be said that most of the immigrants migrate to the US. Among these European Groups, some individuals immigrated because they want to experience something new in a new place. However, some Irish, Scandinavian and German immigrated because they wanted to escape the harsh situations in their homeland. These new immigrants have replenished many of the city's neighbourhoods with young families and children.
They have started new businesses, inherited old ones, and become the predominant work force in others. They confront the city's service system-schools and hospitals, for example with new issues in service delivery, starting with the availability of interpreters. Accordingly, most of these immigrants (Irish, Scandinavian and German) has settled in a particular place because in this place, the saw a chance of fulfilling their dreams in having a new life and to establish a whole new society.
Most of the Irish, Scandinavian and German immigrants, especially some intellectuals and victims of persecution in their homeland and they saw America as a perfect place to hide and to have an opportunity to change political ways and social orders for the better. These immigrants dreamt of living a free and peaceful life. For instance, victims of inequality in Europe went to America and attempted to create a new ideal society in the place. Irish immigration was reactivated in the 1980s, as the slowdown in the Irish economy led an increasingly educated population of newcomers to follow the time-honoured path to seek alternatives in New York.
During their early years in America, they were stereotyped as drunkards, brawlers, and incompetents because of the housing conditions in which they were forced to live. These residences often contributed to the development of social problems such as violence, alcoholism, and crime. Because of their poverty, they were more susceptible to disease. During their early years in America, the average life expectancy was only about 40 years. Agricultural problems in Ireland were largely responsible for their immigration to America. Beginning in 1830, Ireland was beset with crop failures and famines.
In 1845, an international potato blight afflicted the land, resulting in several disastrous years for the country. An estimated 1 million Irish people died of starvation or starvation-related diseases. The resulting emigrations caused a depletion in the population that was so dramatic by 1914 the country had only one-half the population it experienced in the 1840s. Gradually, Irish Americans commenced to improve their lot in the United States through great determination and hard work. They acquired positions as policemen, firemen, clerks, schoolteachers, and other jobs in city government.
By 1855, nearly 40 percent of the New York police force was immigrants and about 40 percent of these immigrants were Irish. Teachers wishing to help students acquire valid concepts about pluralistic America can talk about the accomplishments of Irish Americans and use them as an example of the many contributions of the European-American macroculture. The Kennedy family can be used as an example of how Irish Americans have overcome severe anti-Irish attitudes to assume important roles in politics and other positions of prominence.
As written in the book and in the article, it is said that each immigrant group migrated because of their own distinct reasons and adapted to the society where they migrated in their own unique was. For instance, as noted in the book of Takaki (1993), most Irish immigrants opt to immigrate because of poverty. In the middle of the 17th century, the Irish composed half the population of Boston and New York. Herein, these immigrants have built their dreams and establish their lives to pursue their dreams.
Catholic, unmarried, young, and largely of peasant background, Irish immigrants faced the hard tasks of adapting and adjusting to an urban and a principally Protestant environment. Irish immigrants have experienced different challenges in pursuing their dreams of living a new life in America. Irish immigrants are confronted by intense discrimination in terms of having an employment and because of these Irish men found work as manual labourers, whereas Irish women took jobs mostly in domestic services.
In this regard, the challenge of discrimination has enabled Irish immigrants to be encouraged in becoming actively involved in social activities and politics. With an intense sense of high rates of literacy, ethnic identity and impressive organization talents, most Irish politicians played a critical part in the enhancement and development of contemporary American Urban politics. In the documents, it can be said that Irish immigrants have differences in terms of living among German.
Unlike the former, who settled principally in north-eastern cities and took an active part in politics, the latter tended to move to frontier towns or farms in the Midwest and were less active in political aspects (Gjerde, 1998),. While some of the German Immigrants fled to the America to escape to political persecution which follows the revolutions that happened of 1830 and 1848, most German migrated for quite different reasons. Some migrated because they want to sustain the conventional ways of their life.
Because of the industrial revolution, the conventional patterns of life of the German shopkeepers, farmers and practitioners of conventional crafts like brewing, baking, and carpentering has been disrupted, and hence, German immigrants migrated to sustain this kind of living. The German immigrants dream of sustaining their conventional patterns of life and they attempted to fulfil their dreams in the Midwest’s frontier cities and farmland which include St. Louis and Cincinnati, and set up German fraternal lodges, musical societies, coffee circles, and educational societies.
In addition, the German immigrants carried crucial aspects of German culture with them that rapidly became integral parts of the culture of the American. These traditions include the gymnasium, Christmas tree and the practice of Christmas gift giving, and the kindergarten. Because of the German’s strong craft traditions and their educational backgrounds, it is not surprising that German immigrants has been particularly prominent in the fields of, optics, engineering, metal and tool making, drug manufacture as well as in the labour movement.
Like Irish and German immigrants, Scandinavian immigrants have also migrated to United States to build new lives in the region. The Scandinavian immigrants pursue their dreams of building a new society in a new place but still sustaining their traditional Scandinavian way of life, , culinary, melding the varied religious, linguistic traditions and literary that they brought with them and integrate it with what they found in their new country.
Ethnic enclaves in the economy are a tradition in New York City; ethnic identity has always played a strong role in determining if an immigrant works, where he or she works, and what he or she does for a living. During the 19th century, for example, Irish immigrants established dominance over work on the city's waterfront, while German immigrants were dominant as workers in the city's thriving breweries (Bogen, 1987). All in all, it can be said that the very meaning of immigration differs among different groups of people.
Immigration is perhaps typically thought of as a once-and-for-all decision. People decide to pack up their bags, say goodbye to their neighbors, move to the United States and make a permanent commitment to their new country. In some cases, though, this is not what happens at all. Some people immigrate without cutting their ties to their home countries, intending to stay for only a brief time. After immigrating, they move back home, perhaps in their old age, but perhaps much earlier; some move back and forth frequently.
They sometimes maintain personal connections, property and even jobs in both places. Different groups of immigrants have had different sorts of commitments when they first arrived. It can be concluded that Irish, Scandinavian and German immigrants have their own reasons why they choose to migrate in the United States.
Bogen, E. (1987). Immigration in New York. Praeger Publishers: New York. Gjerde, Jon (ed). 1998. Major problems in American immigration and ethnic history. Houghton Mifflin. Takaki, R (1993). , A Different Mirror. A History of Multicultural America. Boston: Little, Brown.