How have the Irish benefitted the American political system?
Have they benefitted the system at all?
- wyldfyrLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The Catholic Irish moved rapidly into law enforcement, and (through the Catholic Church) built hundreds of schools, colleges, orphanages, hospitals, and asylums. Political opposition to the Catholic Irish climaxed in 1854 in the short-lived Know Nothing Party.
By the 1850s, the Irish Catholics were a major presence in the police departments of large cities. In New York City in 1855, of the city's 1,149 policemen, 305 were natives of Ireland. The creation of a unified police force in Philadelphia opened the door to the Irish in that city. By 1860 in Chicago, 49 of the 107 on the police force were Irish. Chief O'Leary headed the police force in New Orleans and Malachi Fallon was chief of police of San Francisco.
The Irish had a reputation for being very well organized, and, since 1850, have produced a majority of the leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S., labor unions, the Democratic Party in larger cities, and Catholic high schools, colleges and universities. Politically, the Irish Catholic typically voted 80-95% Democratic in elections down to 1964. John F. Kennedy was their greatest political hero. Al Smith, who lost to Herbert Hoover in the 1928 presidential election, was the first Irish Catholic to run for president. From the 1830s to the 1960s, Irish Catholics voted 80-95% Democratic, with occasional exceptions like the election of 1920.
Today, most Irish Catholic politicians are associated with the Democratic Party, although some have become Republican leaders, such as former GOP national chairman Ed Gillespie, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter T. King and retired Congressman Henry Hyde. Ronald Reagan boasted of his Irishness. (The son of an Irish Catholic father, he was raised as a Protestant.) Historically, Irish Catholics controlled many city machines and often served as chairmen of the Democratic National Committee, including County Monaghan native Thomas Taggart, Vance McCormick, James Farley, Edward J. Flynn, Robert E. Hannegan, J. Howard McGrath, William H. Boyle, Jr., John Moran Bailey, Larry O'Brien, Christopher J. Dodd, and Terry McAuliffe. The majority of Irish Catholics in Congress are Democrats; currently Susan Collins of Maine is the only Irish Catholic Republican senator. Exit polls show that in recent presidential elections Irish Catholics have split about 50-50 for Democratic and Republican candidates; large majorities voted for Ronald Reagan. The pro-life faction in the Democratic party includes many Irish Catholic politicians, such as senator Bob Casey, Jr., who defeated Senator Rick Santorum in a high visibility race in Pennsylvania in 2006. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama is "at least three per cent Irish" and may have roots in County Meath, according to the Sunday Independent (18 March 2007).
Distribution of Irish Americans according to the 2000 CensusIn some states such as Connecticut, the most heavily Irish communities now tend to be in the outer suburbs and generally support Republican candidates, such as New Fairfield.
Many major cities have elected Irish American Catholic mayors. Indeed, Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, Newark, New York City, Omaha, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Saint Paul, and San Francisco have all elected natives of Ireland as mayors. Chicago, Boston, and Jersey City have had more Irish American mayors than any other ethnic group. The cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Oakland, Omaha, St. Paul, Jersey City, Rochester, Springfield, Rockford, San Francisco, Scranton, and Syracuse currently (as of 2006) have Irish American mayors. All of these mayors are Democrats. Pittsburgh mayor Bob O'Connor died in office in 2006. New York City has had at least three Irish-born mayors and over eight Irish-American mayors. The most recent one was County Mayo native William O'Dwyer, elected in 1949.
The Irish Protestant vote has not been studied nearly as much. Since the 1840s, it has been uncommon for a Protestant politician to be identified as Irish (though Ronald Reagan notably did and Bill Clinton claims to have Irish ancestry). In Canada, by contrast, Irish Protestants remained a cohesive political force well into the 20th century with many (but not all) belonging to the Orange Order. Throughout the 19th century, sectarian confrontation was commonplace between Protestant Irish and Catholic Irish in Canadian cities.
At least twelve presidents of the United States have some Irish ancestral origins, although the extent of this varies. For example, both of Andrew Jackson's parents were Irish born while George W. Bush has a rather distant Irish ancestry. President Kennedy had far stronger Irish origins, which fell much closer in terms of date. Also Ronald Reagan's father had some Irish Catholic ancestry, and his mother some Scots Irish. Only Kennedy was raised and a practicing Catholic.Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_American
- ghilLv 44 years ago
i'm Irish and totally in the back of the deportation of illegals from eire which includes people and my very own united states of america people in the States being deported to boot. An unlawful is an unlawful, people in the States have lived the lie for too long. they at the instant are not Irish and not in any respect would be, the Kennedys and Clintons purely cared approximately votes. Sticking a shamrock on your lapel or an easter lilly would not make you Irish so i don't comprehend why some people and Irish ex-pats are calling for the regulations to get replaced. Cry on the subject of the previous united states of america without placing foot in it or crying approximately eire while they left its shorelines 30 years in the past is a ****** disgusting offensive comedian tale. Emerald Isle immigration midsection, is that for real? bay jasus begorrah wheres me cudgel an pig to make advantageous to make advantageous. Do plastic paddys in the states even comprehend we've new fangled computers now? so why are they employing language a hundred years previous? Darby o'gill, finnians rainbow shawn shaun shamus and rosheen (bleugh) they cant even spell the names stunning
- Fun2010Lv 41 decade ago
Whenever you hear of a fist fight in the Alabama legislature you know there was an Irishman there.:) Love the Irish!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
presidents like Kennedy
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Well, Teddy Kennedy has been the subject of many good political jokes...
Edit--y'know, "wyldfyr", if people wanted you to cut and paste Wikipedia for answers, they'd probably just go to Wikipedia...