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Contested LoyaltyDebates over Patriotism in the Civil War North$
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Robert M. Sandow

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279753

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279753.001.0001

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“All of That Class That Infest N.Y.”

“All of That Class That Infest N.Y.”

Perspectives on Irish American Loyalty and Patriotism in the Wake of the New York City Draft Riots

Chapter:
(p.239) “All of That Class That Infest N.Y.”
Source:
Contested Loyalty
Author(s):

Ryan W. Keating

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823279753.003.0010

Ryan Keating’s work examines the linkages between national loyalty and ethnic identity, turning to the subject of Irish American immigrants. Looking at Irish-American communities in Connecticut and Wisconsin, Keating surveys their response to the infamous 1863 New York City draft riots. People of Irish descent faced severe discrimination and hardship. Their ethnicity and Roman Catholicism caused many non-Irish to doubt their loyalty and assimilation into American life. The many Irish migrants among the rioters was were taken as “evidence of broader ethnic disloyalty,” writes Keating, which “symbolically and intrinsically linked these events to larger issues surrounding the loyalty of Democrats.” Keating shows, however, that there was widespread disapproval of the rioting among Irish-Americans in other communities. It indicates both the complexity of their responses to the war’s divisive issues and the lack of a monolithic character to Irish immigrants living in America. They were eager to demonstrate their national loyalty through such means as military service. Keating argues that their identities became as deeply entwined with their communities and adopted nation as with a common Irish heritage.

Keywords:   Connecticut, Ethnic identity, Irish immigrants, Loyalty, New York City Draft Riots, Wisconsin

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