The Irish in Britain, 1815–1939
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The Irish in Britain, 1815–1939 book
The migration and settlement of the Irish in Britain between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 forms part of a wider movement throughout the Irish diaspora, and can be best understood in its relation to a global network. It is argued in this chapter that what is at work here is a cultural filter that mirrors the values of the host nation without fully reflecting the variety of Irish migrant experience. Following the influx in the 1950s of Commonwealth immigrants, Britain's largest ethnic minority became incorporated into the politics of race relations and harnessed to the fashion for postcolonial theory which was retrospectively applied to the last century. The Liverpool Times in reporting emigration from Ireland in 1846 made a distinction between what it chose to call 'the emigrants of hope' and 'the emigrants of despair'.