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Why Did the Irish Come to America?



Why Did the Irish Come to America?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.27

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    religious, society, wage, colonial, freedom, greatly, finding, economic, immigrant, familiar, union, homeland, education, starvation, beginning, despite
     content words:    Some Irish, Other Irishmen, British Army, Great Britain, Irish Catholics, No Irish Catholic, Potato Famine


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     Spanish: ¿Por qué vinieron los irlandeses a los Estados Unidos?


Why Did the Irish Come to America?
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Religious freedom. Sound familiar? Many immigrant groups came to America seeking freedom to worship the way they wanted to. The Irish were no different.
 
2     During colonial times, there were almost as many Irish immigrants as there were English. They had been pushed out of Ireland by religious conflicts. They settled in America, seeking religious freedom.
 
3     Economic conditions in Ireland were also poor at this time. Irish people who wanted to own land were pulled to America by the promise of a better way of life. Some Irish immigrants were sent to the colonies as prisoners. They served their sentences here.
 
4     Others came from Ireland as indentured servants. These were people who had their passage paid for by someone else. In return, the servant would work for that person for a number of years in order to pay them back. Other Irishmen came with the British Army and then remained in the colonies.
 
5     At the beginning of the 1800's, most people in Ireland were farmers. The English had control of Ireland at this time. The English seized control of all the crops that the Irish farmers grew. They exported them to Great Britain. The farmers were allowed to raise only a small amount of crops to feed their families. They grew potatoes, turnips, and cabbage. This was all they had to eat.

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