Building Irish Identity in America, 1870-1915: The Gaelic Revival

Front Cover
Four Courts, 2003 - Foreign Language Study - 156 pages
0 Reviews
The Irish language was the hook on which Irish cultural nationalism was hung in Ireland at the end of the 19th century. The foundation of the Gaelic League in 1893 focused on the revival of Irish as a spoken language. By 1916, the Irish language was at the core of Irish nationalism. There was also a flowering of Irish cultural nationalism in the United States at the time. The first Irish language class was founded in Brooklyn in 1872 and the first Gaelic society in Boston in 1873. The first popular bilingual newspaper, An Gaodhal, was published in New York from 1881 to 1898. There was a substantial body of Irish speakers in the United States but language maintenance was not a priority for them. Rather, the formation of Gaelic societies and the cultivation of the Irish language societies in the United States became a building block of ethnic pride. This embracing of ethnicity in its most advantageous form became a tool of assimilation for the American Irish. To the Gaelic League in Ireland, the language movement in the United States was an inspiration and a valuable financial source. The missions of Douglas Hyde and others to America were primarily fund-raising tours. They nonetheless ensured a role for the Irish language and Gaelic societies in the United States as legitimate components of the Irish nationalist movement there.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Gaelic movement in the United States c 18701905
The mission in prospect

5 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2003)

Una Ni Bhromeil is a lecturer in the Department of History, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.

Bibliographic information