Sometimes leaving a home country for a new life and a new start in the best opportunity for a group of people, the Irish are no acceptation. Between 1700’s-1920’s there was, in the ball park, 7 million Irish native people that had immigrated to the United States. This does not seem shocking due to the illness, famine, and political unrest that the country was facing during this time period; the people wanted to start a new life. As the immigration was flowing in, the Irish started to settle in the northeastern section of the US and consequently moved west for the opportunities that came about. The green on the map that is shown gives a general idea of the Irish population in the west during 1870. The Irish moving to the west was a boom to the economy and culture of the west in general but, more specifically Idaho.
The Irish saw the Atlantic West Coast of the US as the “land of gold” a “land of snakes” and “sweat.” Though countless Irish Immigrants were involved in the mining and railroad, they also were a large part of the Idaho territorial military. As the Idaho territory became more defined and prominent, the federal government could not ignore the Irish population. The older map that is seen below is a census report on the population of Irish immigrants’ ratio to the rest of the population. The state of Idaho had varying levels of Irish, on a scale of 1-7. The average of the state of Idaho is a 4.4% of the whole population in 1880.