Why did antebellum immigrant groups come to identify themselves with the Democratic party? How did Democratic ideology appear to address the needs of immigrants? Discuss the relationship between the two.
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The Democrats appealed to immigrant groups like the Irish, who formed powerful voting blocs in urban areas and consistently delivered votes to the Democrats. They aligned themselves against large merchant and banking interests and generally favored monetary policies that immigrants saw as benefiting them. As a consequence, they also opposed immigration restrictions promoted by some Americans in the first half of the nineteenth century.
The Democrats were generally the party of the less well-off, at least since the days of Andrew Jackson. So they were not reticent about doing things like creating political machines in cities that would help the immigrants cope with poverty and uncertainty in their new country.
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