The Irish Potato Famine was the worst tragedy in the history of Ireland. The outcome of the famine would result in hundreds of thousands dead, an failure of the economy in Ireland, and millions of emigrants forced to leave their home and country just to try to survive. The famine would effect countries other than Ireland as well. Some of these countries included England, America, Canada, and Australia. The next five years, almost all Irish citizens, would have the hardest struggle that they would ever face.
When this particular blight, containing the fungus phytophthora infestans, struck the potatoes, it killed the tuber of the plant and potatoes all throughout Ireland began to rot. The blight also hit the rest of Europe and America however, these countries were not as dependent on the potato crop as was Ireland, so it was a mere annoyance to people (Beaumont, 383). This huge fall in potato crops created a catastrophic problem. The potato had been the ideal food for the hugely poor rural population of Ireland. No other crop could be produced as quickly as the potato and in such high numbers.
The Irish Potato Famine was a period of starvation, disease and emigration, and was known as one of the biggest tragedies from 1845 to 1847. Many people depended on potato crops to survive; however [comma] the potato crops acquired blight, a disease that caused the potatoes to rot while still in the ground. No good crops could be grown for two years [comma] causing Irish tenant farmers unable to pay rent and was forced off their land causing over 21,000 people to die of starvation. The Irish Potato Famine caused many people to leave Ireland to seek work overseas in areas such as England and America. The Irish Potato Famine had a big impact on the history and the economy of Ireland.
“Additionally, over 50,000 people died of diseases: typhus, scurvy, dysentery […] Within a decade, the population of Ireland plummeted from over eight million to less than six million” (Irish Potato). Either the people that died during the famine were forgotten about from the surviving relatives, or there were no remaining survivors in a household there for, no was there to report it (Mokyr and O Grada 343). Sadly, death was one only of the effects of the Great Potato Famine. Another thing that was an effect of the Great Famine was emigration. Many people moved to different countries, mostly America, to find new land and get away from the horrible famine.
The great potato famine was a period of great starvation, disease and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1852 which made the Irish population dropped my 25 percent. The potato famine started in September 1845. It was so bad it killed over millions of men children and women... The leaves on potato plants turned black and curled and then rotted and there was a fog over the fields a crossed Ireland. This fungus named “phytophthora infestans” caused the potato leaves to turn black and curl up.
The potato has evolved and has come a long way it came from 500 B.C. and still exists today. Ireland has went through a rough time from dealing with a trying to get their independence and supporting the Irish people and the English people. This was all happening while the potato blight was happening causing the death of many people and the migration of many others. This was a bad time and now you know why it was a terrible time for the Irish people.
The British policies and laws also contributed to the decline. “I saw the dying, the living, an the dead lying indiscriminately upon the same floor” said by James Mahoney describes the Great Potato Famine perfectly. The Great Potato Famine did not only encompass death and dying but also a destruction of the economy. It was a time of great need for the people in Ireland causing starvation, the population to drop and the economy to diminish. With the great population drop the economy was affected in ways Ireland had never seen before.
In this paper I will be talking about The great potato famine and it’s effects on Ireland. The great potato famine started in Ireland in the summer of 1845 and ended in 1852. It killed around 1 million people and forced over 2 million people to move out of Ireland. The potato was their main food source, so starvation was a huge factor. When the potatoes became infected people started to get what was called the “Famine Fever”.
This meant that potatoes then rotted and became inedible. The potato is the staple food of the Irish peoples’ diet, consumed with every meal. It had been known in the past that when potato crops had failed, the farmers it affected and their families would starve to death. Due to Ireland’s status as an agricultural nation, the famine hit them especially hard. Only around a quarter of the population can read or write and the life expectancy is around 40.
What we know it as today as the Irish Potato Famine caused many health and economic problems for the citizens of Ireland. Between 1846 and 1850, Ireland’s population dramatically decreased by two million people. Out of these two million people, around one million died of starvation and diseases associated with the famine. The other million migrated to other parts of the world, in hopes to give their family a better life. Though extreme, this famine is one of the most famous examples of food insecurity in the world.