The aim of this essay is to discuss the conditions that contributed to Famine, to explore various sources related to the Great Potato Famine, and to examine the social, political, and economic reasons that led to the Potato Famine as well as environmental conditions. We will also dwell on the relief efforts, namely food aid, participation of governments, countries and international organizations, etc. Several days after the Irish peasants dug potatoes from the ground, the crop began to turn into a blackish mass of rottenness.
The Great Potato Famine
The expert panels were called to investigate the reasons of such unusual disease, however, they came to an erroneous conclusion and suggested that it was a result of static electricity or the smoke that billowed from railroad locomotives or the mortiferous vapours rising from underground volcanoes n. However, it was a phytophthora infests, the disease that caused potato blight and, finally, contributed to the great Potato Famine. The spores of phytophthora infests were carried by the rain, wind and insects. Potato blight, accompanied by dysentery, cholera, infestations or lice, and scurvy spread all over Irish territories.
The historians witnessed seeing children crying with pain and looking "like skeletons, their features sharpened with hunger and their limbs wasted, so that there was little left but bones Digital History Website, n. Famine fever caused more than , deaths over the next 10 years and another two million people emigrated to the United States, Canada, and Greta Britain. However, it is very difficult to find the exact number of deaths, as there are lots of debates.
Modern historians and statisticians estimate that between , and 1, , died. Some historians suggest the death-toll was in the region of , to , Wikipedia.
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In such a way, within 5 years, population of Ireland was reduced by twenty five percent. Social, political and economic reasons contributed to Great Potato Famine According to Return of the Potato Blight, the deaths occurred in result of the Great Potato Famine were not due just to disease, but also to overpopulation, extreme fragmentation of holdings, enormous income inequalities between rich and poor, and British hostility to Ireland. Was it true?
First of all, lets remember that British-Irish conflict was one of the longest conflicts in the world history. The Irish people relate it to the 12 th century and claim that Ireland was considered the first colony of Great Britain.
They remind the Ulster Plantation where Scottish Protestants settled and local inhabitants were forced to move out of the lands. Under Oliver Cromwell's government England issued the law depriving Irish people their right for the land. Instead, many rented small plots of land from absentee British Protestant landlords. Half of all landholdings were less than 5 acres in Digital History Website, n. Irish families depended on potatoes since potatoes were the lions share of their diet.
Besides, potatoes are very economic and productive in growing, since a farmer could grow triple the amount of potatoes as grain on the same plot of land Digital History Website, n. These laws were intended to hobble the Irish so they would never be able to threaten Protestant Rule. Irish Catholics were stripped of their rights to vote, buy land, attend school, hold government office, possess weapons, speak their own language or practice their religion. By , as British industrialization destroyed Irish linen and woolen industries and the role of the Irish in the UK economy became that of a market for surplus goods, widespread unemployment swept the island.
In , the British government established the Poor Law Act , modeled on the English workhouse system. Once admitted to workhouse, poor families would be separated, forced to wear uniforms and set to work splitting rocks or doing laundry—men, women, and children. In America, these hardworking people were in demand.
Example research essay topic: The Great Potato Famine - 1,306 words
This was the Ireland into which a fungus wafted from Southern England to Dublin, its spores landing on healthy potato leaves, turning them black within days. Irish farmers found that they could dig healthy potatoes from under the black, stinking plant, but they too turned black and rotted within days. By , the blight had triggered a nationwide crop failure, the first of its kind.
People in the millions left their homes voluntarily to cross international borders in search of economic and social opportunity in an industrialized America, where the minorities were gradually becoming represented in politics and gaining…. Its greatest impact was the potato blight epidemic in Ireland Gregory In and again in a third of the potato crop was destroyed by blight, losses at the extremes of previous European experience.
Originally, people thought potatoes were poisonous and refrained themselves from eating the crop. From about to around a great famine occurred in Ireland.
It was very devastating for lots of people. Countless people died due to food shortages and others became ill and died later. The famine was caused by a fungus-like protest, which caused potatoes to rot. The Irish people depended heavily on potatoes, so when their main crop failed, the people were left without food to eat and without anything to sell for money.
Many other people that did not die in Ireland immigrated to other countries…. The Potato And Its Societal Effects The potato had a great effect in Europe during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The potato was a part of the Agricultural Revolution that took place during this time.
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The Agricultural Revolution not only had a great impact on agriculture, but society as well. This revolution caused an increase in population. The potato, a simple starch to some, mass murderer to others. It is often hard to believe that simple things such as potatoes can be such a devastating thing to engulf a nation. This is of course the Great Hunger, also known as the Great Famine.
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It was one if not the most devastating events in Irish history. Costing Ireland an estimated , lives to hunger , and even more emigrating out to other nations.