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Irish Potato Famine Essay

Satisfactory Essays
Alexis Dudley 
Mr. Bill Briggs 
World History 
5 March 2014
The Irish Potato Famine

The Irish Potato Famine was one of the single most dramatic and devastating events in human history. It impacted not only the Irish, but the English and Americans as well. Millions died from this famine and millions more Irish fled from the place they had always called home to other countries such as Great Britain, Canada, and the United States with the hopes of finding a better life. It triggered one of the first big migrations of immigrants to the United States. The Famine began 1845 to 1850, beginning in the fall of 1845 when the potatoes in Ireland were harvested. The entire potato crop was discovered to be diseased by late plight. Late plight is a fungus that destroys everything in a potato plant from its edible roots to the actual potato making them not edible, which also made the Irish vulnerable to a vast array of diseases.
Ireland was a thriving agricultural nation that was blessed with plentiful soil mostly in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. The South Western area of Ireland was covered by rocky soil that was almost impossible to farm, but this arid, rural areas in the North and East contained about 700 people per square mile. However, the fertile land of Ireland wasn't owned by the Irish, most of it was owned by the Anglo-Irish and English ruling classes, many who didn't live in Ireland or even visit their properties.
During a very feudalistic time in Irish society, poor Catholic farmers would rent plots from the rich protestant landowners. If the poor farmers couldn't pay rent to the middlemen they were harshly evicted. When evicted they couldn't grab any of their personal belongings they were literally forced out o...

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... It is estimated over these five horrifying years, that around two million Irish died. One million deaths are attributed to starvation while another million is attributed to immigration and sickness. It has taken many years for the Irish to recover the loss of 25% of their population, many of these deaths being children and the elderly. This led to an immense age gap in the general population. The Irish have also been to slow to recover from the emotional and political toll that the famine had on Ireland’s people. To remember and learn from past mistakes, the Irish built an Irish Potato Famine Memorial in Dublin. It has grotesque statues of starving people walking down the Custom House Quay carrying what little belongings they had left. This is a haunting reminder of what hunger and greed can do to a country and how it’s influence can spread across the entire world.
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