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Grant number like: RZ-51352-11

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George Washington University (Washington, DC 20052-0001)
Tyler Anbinder (Project Director: November 2010 to May 2017)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$290,000 (approved)
$289,862 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2011 – 8/31/2016

Moving Beyond "Rags to Riches": New York's Irish Immigrants and Their Surprising Savings Accounts

Creation and preparation for online publication of a database of 19th-century Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank records and related materials, as well as related data analysis for articles and a book based on this research. (36 months)

One of the most enduring paradigms in American popular culture is that of "rags to riches," the belief that in the United States, people are able to rise from poverty to wealth more so than anywhere else in the world. Immigrants, in particular, are said to have come here to pursue their rags-to-riches dreams. Our study, a joint undertaking of historians and economists, will be the first to reliably analyze the wealth accumulation of pre-Civil War Americans.