The Irish Potato Famine and the Population and Social Trends through 1700-1850

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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. As families increased in size, their excess produce, that previously would have given them a means to purchase livestock etc., was consumed. There were many factors that were involved in this catastrophe. The main causes were environmental conditions, agricultural practices and climate conditions, economic faults, and social and political trends. Social unrest and the history of Irish poverty was the direct cause of the Irish Potato Famine and the sole dependency on the potato crop which inevitably led them to starvation. It is mentioned in the journal, “The Demographic Factor in Ireland’s Movement towards Partition(1607-1921)” ... ... middle of paper ... ...b. 2012. http://www.jstor.org.> • Young, Liz. "Spaces for Famine: A Comparative Geographical Analysis of Famine in Ireland and the Highlands in the 1840s." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 4th ser. 21 (1996): 666-80. JSTOR. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. . • Johnson, James H. "The Context of Migration: The Example of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 3rd ser. 15 (1990): 259-76. JSTOR. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. http://www.jstor.org.> • "Irish Potato Famine." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. . • Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe. "Replacing Muscle: The Energy Revolutions." World History. Boston: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010. 5. Prin

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