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Receiving Erin's Children: Philadelphia, Liverpool, and the Irish Famine Migration, 1845-1855 Paperback

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Receiving Erin's Children: Philadelphia, Liverpool, and the Irish Famine Migration, 1845-1855 + The Irish In Philadelphia: Ten Generations of Urban Experience
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (May 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080784845X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807848456
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,669,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A book that makes a welcome contribution to our understanding of nineteenth-century urban history.


[This book] makes an important contribution to both immigration and urban history as well as to the history of public welfare.

Reviews in American History

This is a truly impressive study of comparative urban development.

Roger Lane, Haverford College

Gallman engages in a fascinating way with big questions of the national characters of the United States and Britain.

Jon Gjerde, University of California, Berkeley

From the Inside Flap

This work of comparative history looks at how two rapidly growing cities, Philadelphia and Liverpool, coped with the urban challenges raised by the influx of Irish immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. E. Poe on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
J. Matthew Gallman, in Receiving Erin's Children, analyzes how two demographically similar cities, Liverpool, England, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the 1840s and 1850s handled the large influx of refuges from the Irish potato famine. Purporting to discuss immigration issues, the book is more a social study of how different cultures responded to similar rising urban problems such as poverty and crime. Both Liverpool and Philadelphia were ports with growing populations. "Poverty, sanitation, housing, disease, sectarian and ethnic conflict, crime and policing, education and delinquency...had been ongoing subjects of public debate in both cities." (pp. 211-12) Gallman found that the resolution of these issues depended upon the "material conditions, dominant ideologies, and the magnitude of the migration in each port." (p. 212)

England with its small land mass and large population took a broader more public view of handling social issues. The poor were numerous and encroaching upon the middle and upper classes. Although the poor provided a useful labor force for the cities, their issues were becoming common issues which needed a centralized governmental response. On the other extreme, the United States had a large land mass with most of its population living along its eastern coast. The poor had the opportunity to improve their condition by moving westward. Social problems such as sanitation and crime were viewed as local problems that could be obviated by inducing the poor to move elsewhere. The concept of the frontier was distinctly American and colored the American responses to many social issues.

In England, there had evolved an acceptance of a hierarchy. The government was expected to act on behalf of its citizenry.
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