Additional Information on Irish-Americans: The U.S. Census 2000 reflects that there are approximately 34,688,723 Irish-Americans presently living in this country, which is quite a bit down from the 1990 Census of 40,165,702. There is only one group (ethnic group) in the U.S. that is larger than the Irish-American group, and that is German-Americans.
Irish-Americans are both Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants; Irish Catholics are concentrated in large cities throughout the north and eastern portions of the United States. Most notably, Irish-Americans prefer cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago, all of which have neighborhoods with high concentrations of Irish-Americans, according to Wikipedia. The most heavily Irish community in America is said to be Milton, Massachusetts, with approximately 38% of its 26,000 residents of Irish heritage.
Irish mayors have been elected in numerous communities in recent years: among those are Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Newark, New York City, Omaha, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, St. Paul, Minnesota, and San Francisco. As of 2006, the following cities had Irish mayors in power: Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Oakland, Omaha, St. Paul, jersey City, Rochester, Springfield, Rockford, San Francisco, Scranton, and Syracuse; all of the mayors in these communities are Democrats.
Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants have a number of differences in terms of their culture and their values, but they are united on "St. Patrick's Day" in the United States. And unlike the Polish-American citizens and Chinese-American citizens, Irish-Americans have an official day of their own in which many Americans who are not Irish wear green and participate in parades and other activities in honor of the Irish immigrants in America. In fact, there are three states where the Irish-American citizens are the leading ancestry group: those states are Massachusetts, Delaware, and New Hampshire.
Irish-Americans are very proud of the number of American Presidents of Irish descent; the impressive list includes Andrew Jackson (7th president); James Buchanan (15th president); Ulysses S. Grant (18th president); Chester Arthur (21st president); William McKinley (25th president); Woodrow Wilson (28th president); John Fitzgerald Kennedy (35th president); Lyndon Baines Johnson (36th president); Richard Nixon (37th); Jimmy Carter (39th); Ronald Reagan (40th); George H.W. Bush (41st); Bill Clinton (42nd); and George W. Bush (43rd president).
There is a derogatory term called "Plastic Paddy" which alludes to someone who was not born in Ireland and who is probably separated from their nearest Irish relative by several generations. But in fact, on St. Patrick's Day, most of America falls into the Plastic Paddy category.
Of the 322 languages believed to be spoken in the U.S. The Irish version of English ranks 66th, according to Wikipedia. That Irish version is called "Irish Gaelic," and reportedly (U.S. Census information 2000), there are 28,870 Irish-Americans who speak Irish Gaelic at home.
There have been many Irish-American luminaries in the arts, including Eugene O'Neill (Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner), F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler and Henry James. The famous painter Georgia O'Keefe was of Irish descent, as was the prominent conservative publisher and spokesperson William F. Buckley.
In show business, Irish-Americans have done very well; their numbers include Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Grace Kelly, Tyrone Power, Conan O'Brien and James Cagney.
Origins / History: In the Web site www.answers.com, authors point out that many Polish immigrants to the young American nation between 1608 and 1776 were adventurers. There was no enormous migration of Poles from Poland such as there was Anglos from England; Poland had a relatively free religious and political environment during that time, and didn't suffer the kinds of persecution that the English did due to the hard-line taken by the Church of England.
Further, in the Journal of American Ethnic History (Pula, 1996), the writer explains that the image of Polish-Americans was "generally positive" in the first one hundred years following the Revolution. Indeed, Americans opened their wallets and their hearts during the bloody Polish November Insurrection (1830-1831); some Americans even opened their doors to exiles from that insurrection. The U.S. Congress even voted in favor of a land grant to the exiles from Poland. However, Pula writes, "within a generation after the Civil War this image underwent a dramatic change from the positive view" of the Polish culture and Polish people to "images of the crude, uneducated, socially and culturally undesirable portrayal" that has been prominently on display in the past several decades.
Additional Information on Polish-Americans: Polish-Americans continue to score poorly when it comes to "social status," according to www.answers.com;there continues to be "anti-Polish stereotyping" (in particular the media does this). Most Polish-Americans are Roman Catholic, although there is a small community of "Tartars" that settled in the New York City and Brooklyn area after the turn of the 20th Century, the Web site states.
According to information obtained through the data of the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html),there are approximately 8,978,073 persons of Polish ancestry living in the United States, a decline from the 1990 U.S. Census of 388,033 people. The state with the most Polish-Americans, according to the Census, is New York (986,141); next on the list of the top ten states in terms of numbers of Polish-Americans is Illinois (932,996), followed by Michigan (854,844), Pennsylvania (821,146), New Jersey (576,473), Wisconsin (497,726), California (491,324), Ohio (433,016), Florida (429,691) and Massachusetts (323,210).
In terms of states with the "highest percentage" of Polish-Americans, Wisconsin's population is 9.3% Polish. Other states with significant percentages of Polish-Americans include: Michigan (8.6%); Connecticut (8.3%); Illinois (7.5%); New Jersey (6.9%); Pennsylvania (6.7%); Delaware (5.2%); New York (5.2%); Massachusetts (5.1%); and Minnesota (4.9%).
The U.S. Census Web site also shows that the number of Polish-Americans has grown in some 30 states, and declined in 21 states. Meanwhile, states from which significant numbers of Polish-Americans have left include Massachusetts and Rhode Island (a combined 40,535 left those two states between 1990 and 2000). Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, three New England states, have seen the growth of the Polish-American population (6,569 Polish-Americans moved into those states between 1990 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census). The only state among the top ten with Polish-American populations that witnessed an increase in Polish-American numbers between 1990 and 2000 was Florida; California lost more than 86,000 Polish-Americans.
The main Polish-American organizations are the Polish-American Congress, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, the Polish-American Historical Association, the American Council for Polish Culture, among others.
Answers.com. (2007) Retrieved May 27, 2007, from www.answers.com.
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