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Global Dimensions of Irish IdentityRace, Nation, and the Popular Press, 1840-1880$
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Cian T. McMahon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469620107

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620107.001.0001

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“American by Nationality yet Irish by Race”

“American by Nationality yet Irish by Race”

Citizenship in the Wake of the Civil War, 1865–1880

(p.145) Chapter Five “American by Nationality yet Irish by Race”
Global Dimensions of Irish Identity

Cian T. McMahon

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter demonstrates that, with social relations in a state of flux after the war, many Irish editors pressed an agenda that sought to break down, rather than build up, walls around the American polity. By demanding the right, bought with their blood, to pledge simultaneous loyalty to their new and old homes, the Irish successfully broadened how postbellum Americans thought about citizenship and mobility. The postbellum years were a period of fluidity in which notions of nationality and citizenship, turned upside down by war, were redefined. Immigrant groups, such as Irish Catholics, whose numbers were being continually augmented by a steady stream of newcomers, sought to use their military service as a lever to establish equality between native-born and naturalized citizens.

Keywords:   social relations, Civil War, postbellum America, citizenship, mobility, nationality, Irish Catholics, military service

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