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The History of the Molly Maguires Essay

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Updated: Mar 15th, 2022

The Molly Maguires developed as the active secret terrorist organization based on the idea of struggling with the capitalist mine owners. The representatives of the Molly Maguires had the Irish origin and followed Catholicism. The organization acted within the Pennsylvania coal region famous for its anthracite mines during the 1860s-1870s. Thus, the ethnic and religious principles and differences were accentuated.

According to the legend associated with the organization’s name, the Irish miners referred to the name of the Irish Catholic woman Molly Maguire who was rather persistent while opposing to the Irish and English Protestants because they intended to remove the woman from the house because of her faith (The Molly Maguires (1970), 1999). The Molly Maguires could work for “The Ancient Order of the Hibernians”, the influential secret organization.

The Molly Maguires acted as the protectors of the miners’ rights, but the methods used were rather violent. There is no single idea about the ideology of the society’s members or justification of their actions because they were oriented toward using terrorist techniques, murdering mine owners, organizing riots, and attacking police as the ways to act for the workers’ interests (The overthrow of the Molly Maguires, 2013).

Thus, the activities’ purpose was to overcome discrimination against the Irish working class of miners. The organization depended on the developed structure and leadership of John Kehoe, the King of the Mollies (Boyer & Morais, n.d.).

To stop the society’s activities, the U.S. police developed the plan to integrate James McParlan, a detective, into the organization. During the months, McParlan worked to prevent violent murders and crimes and to gather the evidences against the society’s members. The year of 1876 became the year of trials against the Molly Maguires.

The activities of the society’s members were discussed as violating all the ethical and legal norms, and to contribute to declaring the sentences quickly, the Irish juries were removed during the trials (Linder, 2010). The events associated with the Molly Maguires are discussed as evidences of discrimination against the Irish people and workers as the class, first signs terrorism, and development of trade unions.

References

Boyer, R., & Morais, H. The Molly Maguires. Web.

Linder, D. (2010). . Web.

The Molly Maguires (1970). (1999). Web.

. (2013). Web.

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