• Where in Europe does the potato grow
and why was it grown there?
• Northern European countries like:
England, Ireland, Germany, Poland and
Sweden. (Also rugged areas of
• Potato could handle harsher climate and
• Side Note: Where was Columbus from? (think!)
• Genoa (not Italy...Italy didn’t exist!)
• WHY didn’t he sail for his homeland?
• WHY did he sail for Spain?
• POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY
Impact of Potato on Europe
• What impact does the potato have in
Ireland, Sweden, Russia, etc?
• Population explosion
• What impact does more people have on
a country and its economy?
• Job shortages + Irish potato famine
create a need to _______
• POPULATION AND MIGRATION
Where do you go?
• You love your country, but you can’t
• Where would you migrate if you were
Irish? Why? or...
• Why would the Irish want to go to the
U.S. when it’s so far away?
Irish migration to US
• Industrial Revolution...the U.S. had a need
for workers (Economic Geography)
• What other motives? (Cultural Geography)
• Religion (The idea of freedom of religion)
Irish migration mid-1800s
• Dramatic increase in Irish in United States:
• 92,484 in 1846 196,224 in 1847 173,744
in 1848 204,771 in 1849 206,041 in 1850
• By the end of 1854 nearly two million people -
about a quarter of the population - had emigrated
to the United States in ten years.
• U.S. population grew roughly 35% every decade from
1800 to 1860 mostly through immigration. Could you
imagine that many immigrants coming to America
Wait a second...
• How does any of this connect to the
• If you are a European immigrant, where
in the U.S. would you go and why
would you go there?
Where do you go in U.S.?
• The 1850 census revealed that Irish
mainly lived in NY, Penn., Mass.,
Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey. WHY???
• Slave labor in South
• Factories in the North
• European migration to the North
• In 1800, the South was home to half the
• In 1860, it represented just over 1/3!
Why is this important?
• The U.S. is a federalist state. States have
power in Congress based on _________
• In 1847, the Union compromised 15 slave and
14 free states, so Southerners maintained
control of the Senate.
• Population growth is sponsoring Westward
expansion and new states with immigrant
labor, not slave
• Plus, Northern States are growing
• South sees the writing on the wall!!!
But, first it:
• tries stopping transcontinental railroad. (Why?)
• sponsored 3 invasion attempts of Cuba (Why?)
• 3 efforts to seize Nicaragua (why?)
• 1 invasion of Baja California
• tried to purchase 1/3 of California
• By 1860, slave states were a minority.
• Political power had shifted to the North.
• South had to choose:
• give up their way of life or
• fight and claim that State rights
trumped the Federal Government