The Irish of Manitowoc County : maintaining ethnic identity in a rural community
Callaghan, Patricia Rose
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Irish American historians have traditionally focused on the urban Irish and their path toward assimilation. The story of the rural Irish of Manitowoc County provides a new interpretation of Irish American history, differing from those centering on the persecuted city Irishman. While most Irish immigrants remained in the cities, a significant number still came to rural states like Wisconsin and took up agriculture as their principal occupation. The Irish in Manitowoc County were reflective of this rural group. The Irish immigrants that settled in Manitowoc County maintained strong ethnic ties through their close proximity, the continuation of ethnic and cultural narratives, and their involvement in churches. Although the rural Irish did experience some assimilation, they also persisted in asserting their ethnic identity. This interplay between assimilation and ethnic assertion provides historians with a new framework for studying Irish Americans: to study the degree to which the Irish both assimilated and asserted their ethnic identity.
Manitowoc County (Wis.)--History.
Irish Americans--Wisconsin--Ethnic identity.