Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Master of Arts in History
John Bieter, Ph.D
Jill K. Gill, Ph.D.
Raymond J. Krohn, Ph.D.
Irish immigration to the United States, extant since the 1600s, exponentially increased during the Irish Great Famine of 1845-52. For many Catholic Irish, the legacy of colonization and the Famine intensified an existing narrative of forced exile and dispossession. It also endowed them with a predisposition to identify similarities between colonial exploitation and capitalism. These factors fed a growing Irish nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic, protean in the 1700s, which reified in the 1800s, around Anglophobia. In the Mountain West where mining spearheaded exploration and settlement, the Irish made up the largest ethnic group in hard-rock mines in the latter part of the 1800s. Here, their Irish nationalism primed them to unionize miners to resist the exploitative power of industrialists. In Idaho this labor activism, predominantly led by Irish immigrants and their progeny, evidenced itself most profoundly in the Coeur d’Alenes in the last decade of the nineteenth century. This paper contributes original research to Irish ethnicity in the West, particularly in Idaho, a topic understudied and often overlooked.
Higgins, Victor D., "Unpolished Emeralds in the Gem State: Hard-Rock Mining, Labor Unions, and Irish Nationalism in the Mountain West and Idaho, 1850-1900" (2017). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 1301.