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dc.contributor.advisorDal Lago, Enrico
dc.contributor.authorRegan, Joe
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation investigates the Irish immigrant experience in the rural areas of the U.S. slave South before the American Civil War. Specifically, it focuses on the analysis of the Irish immigrants' involvement with Catholicism and slavery in the U.S. southern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana. What follows therefore, is an in-depth investigation of the historical, moral and practical acceptance of US slavery by Irish immigrants and of how the latter adjusted and profited from the antebellum slave economy. This thesis contains four chapters. Chapter one provides a historical survey of the colonial roots of Irish slaveholders in the antebellum US South. This demonstrates that their experience with rural antebellum slavery was an integral part of Irish engagement with Atlantic slavery. Chapter two outlines the moral acceptance of slavery by Irish immigrants by focusing on the development of the Catholic Church in the antebellum South. Using the case study of Irish Catholic immigrants, this chapter investigates how Irish Catholics identified with their adopted states and the South’s values and interests, while maintaining their own religious identity. The third chapter examines Irish antebellum slave-ownership. The opportunities for Irish immigrants to acquire slave property varied according to boom and bust cycles in the slave economy. The profits extracted from slavery elevated some Irishmen amongst the wealthiest individuals in the nineteenth-century industrial world. The final Chapter assesses the lives of Irish immigrants who did not own slaves, but laboured in the rural antebellum US South. This chapter examines the role of non-slaveholding immigrants and the impact they had on rural southern society. Life at the lower level of society was full of multiple types of biracial level interactions and this work focuses and analyses in detail the complexity of interactions between Irish and slave labourers.  en_IE
dc.subjectIrish immigrationen_IE
dc.subjectIrish slaveholdersen_IE
dc.subjectIrish labourersen_IE
dc.subjectAntebellum Southen_IE
dc.subjectDepartment of Historyen_IE
dc.subjectSchool of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studiesen_IE
dc.titleIrish immigrants in the Rural U.S. Slave Southen_IE
dc.contributor.funderCollege of Arts, Social Science and Celtic Studies' Galway Doctoral Research Scholarshipen_IE
dc.local.noteThis thesis assesses the rural Irish immigrant experience with US slavery, in the antebellum US South. To fully comprehend the Irish immigrant experience in the US, the interaction of Irish immigrants with the institution of slavery is examined, shedding light on a history, hitherto little exploreden_IE

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