Irish Potato Famine Essay

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The Great Irish Famine was undoubtedly one of Irelands darkest periods of history. The Great Famine, or also referred to as the Irish Potato famine was from 1845 through 1852 where many people starved, were disease stricken, poor and some forced to emigrate. The reliance on the potato to the Irish people was so great that when the Famine struck, the population declined greatly. The famine caused around one million deaths and another million immigrated to different countries. The Irish people’s health, death and emigration didn’t only impact themselves and their families but also Irelands social and economical state. For what began as a natural disaster, the conditions of Ireland during and post famine were intensified by actions (or the lack of action) from the Whig government. (BBC)
In 1800 the British Act of Union made Ireland apart of the United Kingdom after the Irish staged a major rebellion against British rule. Before the famine happened, Ireland was a society in a crisis because of a rapidly expanding population. The population went from 2.5 million to 8.5 million, which put pressure on land, and food. The potato was a cheap crop, which was the staple diet of the rural population of Ireland. While it was cheap and easily accessible, it was also easily diseased. Potatoes are good with cleansing soil so they became more numerous in Irelands agriculture and diet. About one acre of potato growth could feed a family for a year since it is a crop that is healthy and can well feed people. Pre-famine, the rural poor people of Ireland ate around fourteen pounds of potato per person per day. They would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a liquid compliment such as salty water, skimmed milk, buttermilk, etc. The potato was ...

... middle of paper ... Potato famine from 1845-1852 was Irelands greatest natural disaster that created a lasting struggle. The famine produced struggles that had a great effect on the economic and social trends for many years. The impact it had on the country and its lasting legacy through out the world is significant in Irish history. Unfortunately the famine had great negative impact on the country and forced many citizens to immigrate. The political aspect of the famine was disordered and produced a lot of difficulties and troubles. Although it is unknown what exactly the death count was, it was exceptionally high enough to be called a natural disaster, which occurred within the authority of Great Britian. Great Britian was the most industrially advanced empire at the time. The impact that Great Britian had on the Irish famine produces questions on how they reacted to the tragedy.
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