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Immigration Paper Since the beginning of this nation there has been immigration It is in fact what makes this country so great and what it is today If people werent willing to take the already deadly trip across the Atlantic America might not even be here today The immigrants I will be focusing on which were part of the first major wave of immigrants to ever come to America They were also a major part of the American Civil War The moment they got off the ship there were union recruiters There is perhaps no other ethnic group so closely identified with the Civil War years and the immediate aftermath of the war as Irish Americans Of those Irish who came over much later than the founding generations fully 150000 of them joined the Union army Unfortunately statistics for the Confederacy are sketchy at best still one has but to listen to the Southern accent and listen to the sorts of tunes Southern soldiers loved to sing to realize that a great deal of the South was settled by Irish immigrants But because the white population of the Confederate states was more native-born than immigrant during the Civil War years there did not seem as much of a drive in the Southern army to recognize heritage in the names and uniforms of regiments as there was in the Union forces One main reason for the large scale immigration by the Irish was because of the potato famine It began with a blight of the potato crop that left acre upon acre of Irish farmland covered with black rot As harvests across Europe failed the price of food soared Subsistence-level Irish farmers found their food stores rotting in their cellars the crops they relied on to pay the rent to their British and Protestant landlords destroyed Peasants who ate the rotten produce sickened and entire villages were consumed with cholera and typhus Parish priests desperate to
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