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”.
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.
Also it was the main food source for a majority of the people. When the Phytophthera infestans attacked the potatoes it caused a great crisis. One of the crisis’s that the P. infestans caused was the potato blight. This led to the starvation of more than a mil... ... middle of paper ... ...ine month period in the year of 1847 where the Irish exported grain-derived alcohol to England. They exported 874,170 gallons of Porter, 278,658 gallons of Guinness, and 183,392 gallons of Whiskey.
At the end of the summer of 1845, a thick rain fell throughout Ireland, carrying with its pores of blight that killed multiple crops, including the potato crop. Because Ireland was dependent on the potato crop, the results of this blight were catastrophic. Britain, who had control over Ireland at this time, did very little to help the now starving and poor Irish. As a result of English disregard towards the Irish during the Potato Famine of 1845, the already fragile relationship between Ireland and England worsened. 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.
Events and Impact of Irish Potato Famine. The Irish farming population have been left counting the cost of the potato famine which has crippled their harvest and left many starving to death. The British government must shoulder the blame after an ineffective, slow and lacklustre effort to support the farmers and improve conditions. The famine itself started in September 1845 when leaves on potato plants turned black and curled, then rotted, seemingly as a result of fog which had wafted across the fields. This meant that potatoes then rotted and became inedible.
Many people got sick from this disease otherwise known as, Phytophthora Infestins. Phytophthora Infestins killed about 1 million people in Ireland. In the ruins of ancient Peru and Chili, the remains of potatoes dating back to 500 B.C. have been found. Potatoes were such a part of Incan life that they not only ate them, but they worshiped them.
The phytophora infestans were carried in on ships from Europe and America. Less than a year later, in August of 1846, virtually the entire potato crop in Ireland had been destroyed. The following winter became unbearable for the already starving nation. The westerly winds, which usually brought warmer air, failed, letting cold conditions from Scandinavia and Russia overtake the island of Ireland. The effects of malnutrition from starvation combined with the unusually cold temperatures aided in the spread of disease and ultimately death among the nation of Ireland.
The Irish Potato Famine started in the year 1845. When the potatoes were harvested, a few days after, they started turning into a slimy, decaying, and blackish ball of rottenness. The reason this happened was due to the organism Phytophthora Infestans. 750,000 people died. Between 1846 and 1850, the population of Ireland dropped by 2 million which represented 25% of the total population (The Great Famine of 1845, 2013).
The Great Irish Potato Famine was during a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration through 1845-1850. According to the journal, “The Context of Migration: The Example of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century” by James H. Johnson, this caused the population of Ireland to decrease 20-25% and it did not stabilize again until the 1930’s. Although there was a potato crop failure in Europe in the 1840’s, one third of the Irish population was dependent on this crop. This was inevitable due to the sole dependency of the Irish people on home-grown potatoes and the population almost doubling from 1800 - 1840. The journal, “Spaces for Famine: A Comparative Analysis in Ireland and the Highlands in the 1840’s” by Liz Young states that “if the crop was poor or failed, families could not manage and to compare, 50,000 people died when crops failed in 1817-1819.” The Irish people could not sustain could not sustain their diet of potatoes because they had not the means to buy more seed or, indeed, purchase the land on which to grow enough potatoes to feed their rapidly multiplying families for a year.
However, when the farmers dug up the expected crop that year, they were faced with a black, liquid mess. This lead to a 50% loss in potatoes and each family had to fend for themselves and harvest however many potatoes they needed. The potato crops increasingly worsened from 1845 to 1847. Three years of bad potato crops devastated the country of Ireland in more ways than one. What we know it as today as the Irish Potato Famine caused many health and economic problems for the citizens of Ireland.