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Irish Studies / History / Immigration / Ethnic Studies


Ireland's New Worlds
Immigrants, Politics, and Society in the United States and Australia, 1815–1922
Malcolm Campbell

History of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora

James S. Donnelly, Jr., and Thomas Archdeacon, Series Editors

"An ambitious and bracing comparative analysis. Campbell's study cuts across sealed national narratives and tests common assumptions about Irish emigration before and after the Great Famine."–Eric Richards, Flinders University, Australia

In the century between the Napoleonic Wars and the Irish Civil War, more than seven million Irish men and women left their homeland to begin new lives abroad. While the majority settled in the United States, Irish emigrants dispersed across the globe, many of them finding their way to another "New World," Australia.

Ireland's New Worlds is the first book to compare Irish immigrants in the United States and Australia. In a profound challenge to the national histories that frame most accounts of the Irish diaspora, Malcolm Campbell highlights the ways that economic, social, and cultural conditions shaped distinct experiences for Irish immigrants in each country, and sometimes in different parts of the same country. From differences in the level of hostility that Irish immigrants faced to the contrasting economies of the United States and Australia, Campbell finds that there was much more to the experiences of Irish immigrants than their essential "Irishness." America's Irish, for example, were primarily drawn into the population of unskilled laborers congregating in cities, while Australia's Irish, like their fellow colonialists, were more likely to engage in farming. Campbell shows how local conditions intersected with immigrants' Irish backgrounds and traditions to create surprisingly varied experiences in Ireland's new worlds.

"A sustained essay in comparative history, the purpose of which is to challenge facile assumptions about the Irish in America by contrasting their performance with that of emigrants of similar social, religious, and cultural origins who settled in Australia. The striking contrasts in emigrant performance in these two host countries indicate that transplanted 'Irishness' cannot explain the peculiarities of social, economic, and political behavior attributed to the Irish in America."–David Fitzpatrick, Trinity College, Ireland

Malcolm Campbell is associate professor of history at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

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Of Related Interest
The Slow Failure
Population Decline and Independent Ireland, 1920–1973
Mary E. Daly

The Bible War in Ireland
The "Second Reformation" and the Polarization of Protestant-Catholic Relations, 1800–1840
Irene Whelan

The cover of Campbell's book is light blue, with a old engraving of Irish emmigrants in a muted black, overlaid.

January 2008

LC: 2007011736 E
296 pp.  6 x 9
10 b/w illus., 3 maps, 2 graphs

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Cloth $65.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22330-4
Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22334-2
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