What It Means To Be Irish Ethnicity History Essay

2323 words (9 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 History Reference this


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One of the most beautiful places to visit in the world would have to be Ireland. I am part Irish but mostly English. I had an interview with my dad in which he told me that our family is English, Irish, and German. My ancestors came over from Cork, Ireland to the United States in 1847. Cork is the second largest city in Ireland and most of the chief products come from the River Lee which is on the banks of Northern Ireland. There are two reasons why my ancestors moved to the United States in 1847. The first reason was impacted because of the Great Potato Famine. The Great Potato Famine was a hard economic time for Ireland. This occurred when Ireland’s main crop, potato’s failed which kept my ancestors from working. The other reason my ancestors left was because of religious hardships. My ancestors were Catholics and they were in a war with other Irish residents, most Irish were Protestants at the time. With everything that my Irish ancestors were going through they finally had enough and they came to the United States of America.

When my great-great-great-great-grandparents got settled into the United States they worked on a farm. They already knew how to do this because they were also farmers back in Ireland. I think by coming over to the United States from a different country is not only a risky move but it also is a brave thing to do. This is why I did my paper on being part Irish instead of doing it on being English or German. Even though I have those other ethnicities in me I know that I have some brave Irish blood in me too.

Before my ancestors came to America in search of freedoms they were fishermen, farmers, and they herded sheep in their homeland of Cork, Ireland. My ancestors had a boat out on River Lee. They would go hunting for fish by putting a big net underwater and bring it back up after an hour out on the river. Then they would gather the fish from the net and put them in a big pot of cold water so they wouldn’t lose the fish. Some of the technology that my Irish ancestors used would include: the boat, the net to catch the fish and the bucket to contain the fish until their day was over on the river. They used these tools to obtain the fish so that they could eat and sell the fish for food. By doing this my ancestors made their own little business. This subsistence strategy was used a lot because thousands of Irish people would go out to the banks of Ireland and fish. The division of labor was done physically because everyone was moving or lifting something to help the other one out. One person would crank the net down into the water, someone would be steering the boat, and then everyone except the man steering the boat would help bring the heavy net with fish in it up to the surface.

Not only did my Irish ancestors fish they also were farmers. They used plows to pull up the rich soil and manure to farm the potatoes. My ancestors also herded sheep by using a dog to keep the sheep from getting too far away. These are some of the subsistence strategies that they used agriculturally. This subsistence strategy was also used a lot by Irish people including my ancestors. One of the divisions of labor that my Irish ancestors used were called plow men. They would help plow the field were all the crops were being planted. My ancestors believed that if you did not do this to your land than the crops wouldn’t grow effectively. The work was divided by physical and manual labor between the family.

They didn’t practice industrialism within my Irish ancestors but it was practiced just like it is today daily. There are products that are made through industrialism in Ireland like textiles, metal products, and electrical equipment. Some of the technological tools used are production lines which workers work on one specific job and pass it down the line to the next worker. They also use computers to order the parts needed for the metal products and also parts needed for electrical equipment. The division of labor for industry work would consist of two kinds of workers. One is a production line worker who is a wage laborer. A wage laborer is someone who gets paid by the hour of which they work. The second kind of worker is a management worker. They are paid more but they only get paid by the year. They are paid more because they have more responsibility, more experience on the job and they have a college degree.

My Irish ancestors also planted wheat in their fields. They had over 5 acres of this domesticated crop. The wheat would come up every year because my ancestors knew how to keep the wheat from dying. They would dig deep into the ground to find the most deepest and moist part of the dirt. They would plant the wheat in that region because wheat grows better in deep and moist places. My ancestors would get manure from the cows and surround the wheat so that the wheat would be fertilized. Also everyday they would have to go out and water the wheat so it would continue to grow. When the wheat would come up they would use the grain to make different foods. These foods included: noodles, flour, pasta, and cookies. My Irish ancestors would sell half of their wheat and the other half they would keep to use for food that they could store if they needed it later. The technologies that my Irish ancestors used were shovels so that they could dig the deep holes needed to plant the wheat into the ground. This subsistence strategy was used by everyone in Ireland back in the 1840’s because farming was very important and that is how they got their main crops like potato’s or wheat. The division of labor in horticulture was split up into many jobs. On my ancestors farm you had someone take the shovel and dig deep into the soil out on the land and plant the wheat, to pick up the manure from the cow and spread it around the wheat plant, and someone to take a bucket of water and water the crop every day.

My Irish ancestors also practiced pastoralism. They raised Galway sheep and cattle. They usually raised about forty Galway sheep which were herded by their dog and they had around 100 cattle on their land. The Galway sheep were used for meat and the cattle for milk, cheese, and later as meat. The tools used in pastoralism were the dog that herds the sheep, the fence that keeps all of the animals from going all over my Irish ancestor’s farm, and also the food that we feed the livestock with. The division of labor on my ancestor’s farm is split up between every person on the farm. One person will make sure the livestock is not cooped up all day and that they get something to eat. They will milk the cows and goats so that they will be able to get the milk which also can lead to cheese and other foods. All of these categories apply because if they didn’t do these jobs every day the livestock would die and they would not have enough food, eventually they wouldn’t be able to survive. There was no tourism to Ireland during the time of my Irish ancestors. Everyone was leaving because of the struggles occurring in Ireland at the time so no there were no tourism going on at the time. If there were no struggles occurring than I would say yes to tourism. Ireland is a beautiful country where you can see many amazing structures that have been around for centuries.

The tourism is protected by the president. The president of Ireland is called the head of state. He doesn’t have specific powers but he acts as a ceremonial figure. The head of state is voted by anyone who is thirty-five or older and it is done through the secret ballot under the alternative vote. There is no vice-president so if for some reason the head of state cannot fulfill his duties as president than the presidential commission will take his place. Ireland operates beneath the Constitution of Ireland. This constitution follows a liberal democratic tradition. It tells that certain rights are given to certain people and defines what Ireland’s government consists of. The local government doesn’t have as much power as the city council. Cork’s City Council makes sure that their city is taken care of. Examples of this is paving roads, making sure street lighting is corrected, and parks are kept clean. The city council is made up of thirty-one members who symbolize six electoral wards. The thirty-one members come from these groups: eight members from Fine Gael, seven members from the Labour Party, six members from the Fianna Fail, four members form the Sinn Fein, four members from the Independents, one member from the Socialist Party, and one member from the Workers Party. These thirty-one members make up a parliamentary representative democratic republic otherwise known as the Republic of Ireland. Like in the United States, Ireland has an Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches. There is a common law jurisdiction in Ireland. The judiciary consists of lower courts, high court, and the Supreme Court. Ireland also has two kinds of civil services. The Civil Service of the Government is the first civil service. The second civil service is the Civil Service of the State. Together they make governmental decisions and uphold political impartiality which effects Ireland’s economy.

Ireland uses a negative reciprocity. They exchange goods for profit. Ireland’s economy has changed in the past few years. They used to have an agricultural economy and now they have changed to a more contemporary knowledge based economy. Ireland is considered one of the richest countries when it comes to gross domestic products. With the considerable growth in Ireland comes inflation. This is increasing prices especially in their big cities there and it is making prices for materials more than anywhere else in the world. Right now Ireland is in recession and has been in recession since 2008. This has happened because the government has borrowed too much money and problems with Irish banks being able to manage their money. The problem keeps getting worse in 2009. Ireland lost its AAA (triple a) credit because of government debt and its dreary economic stance.

Ireland’s economy has always been important in Ireland but their religion used to be a big conflict. Ireland is made up of Roman Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Presbyterian, Orthodox, Methodist, or other religions. About eighty-seven percent are Roman Catholics. They make up most of Ireland’s Republic of Ireland. They have the second largest Christian value but since the twentieth century it has been dilapidating. They do on the other hand have the most largest amount of people going to mass in the western world. In the last thirty years that statistic has diminished which means people have been turning away from the church. In the Republic of Ireland the atheist or not believing in any God has risen to 4.5 percent and more people are starting to believe in the Muslim religion. This belief is called polytheistic which is believing in more than one God which is practiced by the Muslim faith.

To believe in these different religions means that there are going to be different ways of marriage proposals. In Ireland’s Republic of Ireland there are many different beliefs. One is Christianity, which is where you only believe in one God and pray to him. If you are Christian you pick the person that you want to spend your life with. The residence that you stay at is your new home that you make with your wife. Family is not that important. You love your family but it maybe a couple years before you go and visit them. Kinship is never talked about so it is not important. Every social class in Ireland is pretty much the same. They all get equal rights. There are two groups of social classes that we do follow in the United States. One is Marxism and the other is Proletarianisation.

The social classes were not that interesting to me because we basically practice the same groups as they do in Ireland. Here are a few things that I thought were interesting to me when I researched my paper. First Ireland is called the Emerald Isle. This is due to the stunning green scenery. The flag of Ireland has three colors, green which represents the Roman Catholics in Ireland, orange which represents the Protestants in Ireland and the white which for unity. The official languages in Ireland are English and Gaelic. I thought that it was interesting reading about their government. The fact that the head of state otherwise known as the president of Ireland doesn’t have too much power and doesn’t control what the inner cities and towns do in Ireland. I also thought the fact that Ireland used to fight over religious freedoms and now people in Ireland are being atheist or don’t even attend church anymore. They used to be the second largest country in the world to go to church and now they are not believing in any God at all is really sad to believe.

Ireland is not in good shape right now. With the dropping in church goers, the economy is doing poorly with the lack of money and now so has to tourist that are coming to visit this beautiful country. Residents who live in Cork, Ireland just like my ancestors did back in the 1840’s are feeling this recession. Cork is the second largest city in Ireland and the article that I researched tells me the kind of events that would occur if you were to visit Cork, Ireland. This article talks about what happens in thirty-six hours of being in Cork. At four thirty in the afternoon bells will ring to welcome all new comers to Ireland. The last event that you do is they take you to the River Lee where my ancestors did their fishing. This is an amazing place to go because not only is it a piece of history to me but it is breathe taking and you definitely don’t want to miss it.

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