when he did come here, he valued his Catholicism as his greatest gift. His labor, his wit, his moods, often black moods, were not really factors which he considered ultimately marketable. The preservation of his faith was his top value; and for the most part he kept it during the process of immigration.

Basic Problems of the Irish in America

       To be sure there were Irish immigrants who were not Roman Catholics. They came mostly from Ulster and generally arrived in this country prior to the Irish Catholic. These people, Often called Orangemen by the Irish Catholics, were able to merge with the Yankee American Protestants far better than the Irish Catholic who quickly saw the Orangeman here as an enemy far more dangerous than the Orangeman in Ireland. The nineteenth Century saw all kinds of Irish Catholic-Orange Irish hostility, especially in the major urban centers where most of the Irish of both sides settled. But for at least two generations after immigration, the Catholic Irish were virtually without power; the Orangeman often acquired power easily by joining with the Yankees or Wasps with whom he had a cultural affinity both here and in Ireland. In this country, the Roman Church urged the Catholic Irish immigrant to forget the animosities of the old country and to get on with the business of becoming an American. Oddly enough, the Catholic Irish immigrant generally followed this lead of his Church. Occasionally he undertook to aid the cause of freedom .....




for the Irish in Ireland but with no great ardor. Some American Catholic Irish joined in the Fenian cause in 1665 and 1866; more leagued with Charles Stewart Parnell's Irish League movement in the 1880's (althogh Parnell himself was a Protestant). But it was the American-born children and grandchildren of the Irish Catholic immigrant who were forced to take sides during the years of the Irish rebellion against England and the creation of Eire between 1916 and 1922. Many supported the Rebellion, a few opposed it, and large numbers remained indifferent or aloof, probably because the Rebellion was against England at a time when the British were the ally of the United States in the First World War. It must have seemed terribly important for many Irish in this country to appear to be almost superpatriots in war lest the accusation by the Yankees, made for nearly 50 years, that the Irish were not good citizens be proven true.

       Again, one must cite the policy of the American Catholic Church as the primary promoter of this acculturation; most American bishops struggled to urge their people to acculturate as soon as possible. Thus they hoped to gain respectability for their people, all newly immigrated, so as to overcome the opprobrium often attributed to American Catholics generally who were accused by native Americans as having at best a divided loyalty to the foreign Pope of their religious beliefs and to the American government of their adopted country. American Catholics struggled with this difficult dilemma right up to 1960 when .....(continued next page)