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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3ZW19013

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The Communal Legitimacy of Collective Violence: Community and Politics in Antebellum New York City Irish Gang Subculture Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Emerson
Know Nothing
B'hoy
Antebellum
New York City
famine
Bill Poole
collective violence
communal resistance
riot
Irish-American
John Morrissey
Thoreau
cultural anthropology
Mike Walsh
Bowery Boy
Isaiah Rynders
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Phelan, James Peter
Supervisor and department
Romeo, Sharon (History and Classics)
Examining committee member and department
Muir, James (History and Classics)
Smith, Susan (History and Classics)
Romeo, Sharon (History and Classics)
Sweeney, Dennis (History and Classics)
Department
Department of History and Classics
Specialization
American History
Date accepted
2014-05-06T11:55:33Z
Graduation date
2014-11
Degree
Master of Arts
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
This thesis examines the influences that New York City’s Irish-Americans had on the violence, politics, and underground subcultures of the antebellum era. During the Great Famine era of the Irish Diaspora, Irish-Americans in Five Points, New York City, formed strong community bonds, traditions, and a spirit of resistance as an amalgamation of rural Irish and urban American influences. By the middle of the nineteenth century, Irish immigrants and their descendants combined community traditions with concepts of American individualism and upward mobility to become an important part of the antebellum era’s “Shirtless Democracy” movement. The proto-gang political clubs formed during this era became so powerful that by the late 1850s, clashes with Know Nothing and Republican forces, particularly over New York’s Police force, resulted in extreme outbursts of violence in June and July, 1857. By tracking the Five Points Irish from famine to riot, this thesis as whole illuminates how communal violence and the riots of 1857 may be understood, moralised, and even legitimised given the community and culture unique to Five Points in the antebellum era.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3ZW19013
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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