The Irish in California
Professor Matthew Spangler, San José State University, on the Irish in California: We are here in a Redwood forest today outside San Francisco. We have come here because the Redwoods are something of a symbol for the state of California, which itself is something of a symbol for immigration in the United States. California is unique as an immigrant centre because people have been coming here ever since the state began in 1850. One of our immigrant communities is, of course, the Irish. The Irish had a unique immigrant experience here in the sense that when they were coming California was less defined as a place. It was more of a blank slate than say Chicago, or Boston, or New York were. You see less of an Irish presence on the streets in San Francisco, for example, than you would in Chicago, but that doesn’t mean that fewer Irish have been coming. They just had a different experience here. So that is a little bit of immigration history in the state of California in the Redwoods outside of San Francisco.
Irish and Chinese Migration to California
The story of Irish and Chinese immigration to California, and the role of the Irish in perpetuating anti-Chinese discrimination, is explored by Professor Glen Gendzel, San José State University.