The Great Famine Also known asThe Irish Potato Famine An Gorta Mór by Craig Morris
The Great Famine in Ireland was between 1845 and 1849It was caused by a failure of the potato crop which at the time was the main source of food for the Irish people A potAto diseAse or ‘blight’ which originAted from the AmericA’s mAnAged to reAch europe And spreAd Across England, Scotland, Belgium, Holland and IrelandEven though the country had experienced previous periods of famine, this was the worst one yet, resulting in the deaths of between1,000,000 and 1,500,000 people, more than the entire loss of British servicemen in both world wars
The potato disease, phytophthorainfestans which would havereduced the crop to rottenness, issaid to have come from America bycargo ship.It was an airborne disease whichdestroyed half of the potatoes inIreland in the first year of thefamine and the entire crop waswiped out the following year. By1846, £3,500,000 worth of potatoesIt was the main source of food in Ireland from when it washad been lostintroduced to the country in the 16th century. It was fairlycheap to harvest and was well suited to the climate, meaningit obviously didn’t need much sunshine to grow in the boggy soil!
‘the only single cheAp foodthat can support life as asole diet according to recentnutritive reseArch’Foster R.F, Modern Ireland, 1600-The potato is however1972deficient in vitamin A, so itwould have been included in adiet amongst milk and fish.These would have been rareamongst the poor.Due to an uneveneconomy, high land rent andabsentee landlords, the poorfarmers would have reallyonly been able to grow onetype of crop (monoculture)
Severity of The Great Famine in Ireland 60%-100% of people taking up rations 45%-60% 30%-45% 15%-30% 5%-15% 0%-5%The south and west of Ireland were theworst affected areas, as they weremore rural and the majority poorfarmers who worked on small plots ofland
Ireland was ruled by Britain from 1801 until 1922, who employed the people to work on their land, reaping the fruits of their labour and the farmers had to pay high rent to stay on these small farms. If these farmers could not afford the high rent prices, they were evicted from their simple dwellingsSkibbereen, 1847 byJames Mahoney Ireland was one of the largest suppliers of corn, with an enormous amount of produce being exported over to their neighbour, even during the hunger
A poor old woman collecting water from the wellA family being evicted by the‘peelers’
There were so many dead tobury, they couldn’t provide neArenough the same amount ofcoffins to bury them. Thisresorted in coffins being usedwhich were hinged at the bottomso the deceased could be carriedto the graves and the bodiesjust released into the grave.This enabled the coffins to thenbe re-used.Britain was one of thewealthiest empires at the timebut they initially decided to donothing to help which has beenthe subject of question over theyears
Sir Robert Peel who was Prime Minister of Britain at the time and lived in Tamworth, imported £100,000 worth of corn to help Ireland, with the opposition of the British Government. the ‘corn lAws’ put A duty on imported grain from outside Britain. Introduced in 1804, they were originally set up in the interests of the British farmers, so they could continue to charge high prices for their home grown corn/grain. Sir Robert Peel managed to repeal the Sir Robert Peel, 2nd corn laws after the famine to try andBaronet help Ireland by buying corn from America. 1788 – 1850 The new corn law was passed in 1846, a year after the famine began, reducing the duty on the imported oats, barley and wheat.
Between 1846 and 1850, theIrish population decreased byaround 2,000,000 people, 25%of the total population.Half of these emigratedduring the famine, to placessuch asAustralia, Canada, Britainand the USA, cities such asBoston and New York Irish population 1801-1921 Emigrants leave Ireland by Henry Doyle 1868
…And A bronze sculpture of A coffin shipIn County Mayo
It is estimated that thepopulation would reach pre- POTATO!famine levels again around2024.Despite the past, generallythe Irish people are happy golucky and due to the massemigration, you will find Irishpeople all over the world.Potatoes remain one of themain food products in Irelandtoday, and advances intechnology enabled chemicalsto be produced to ensure Thanks for listeningdisease was prevented fromdestroying the
References http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/victorians/famine_01.shtml http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/ireland_great_famine_of_1845.htm http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/ Coffin ships- http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/coffin.htm Insight Guide-Ireland, Discovery Channel, (1999)ODonnell R, OBrien Pocket History of the Irish Famine (Pocket Books), (2008) Donnelly, J.S, The Great Irish Potato Famine, (2002)
Image References Potato blight- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytophthora_infestans Ireland Map of Rations- http://conservapedia.com/Irish_Potato_Famine Peelers- http://www.revisionism.nl/Potato/The-Mad-Revisionist.htm Robert Peel- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Robert_Peel.jpg Emigrants- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland) Population chart- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ireland_(1801%E2%80%931923)Memorials- http://thunderations.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/the-irish-did-save-civilization-then-civilization- ground-them-down/ http://lost-at-sea-memorials.com/?p=1072 http://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hub/Is-it-Good-to-Be-Irish http://www.flickr.com/photos/23296461@N04/5090239349/ Keith lemon- http://www.flickr.com/photos/orionbooks/6236868287/in/set-72157627752007485