This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Great Famine Of Ireland Essay

4784 words - 19 pages

The Great Famine of Ireland

At the start of 1845, all was well on the island of Ireland. The union with
England gave the over eight million Irish the protection and support of the most powerful
and prosperous nation of the time, as well as offering a strong market for exporting the
more profitable agricultural produce. And the potato, the blessed potato, provided a
cheap, healthy diet for many farmers and laborers. The Irish loved their potatoes. In fact
for two-thirds of the entire population the potato was an integral part of the diet, and half
of them ate almost nothing else (Harris 2). All was well until later that year when
disaster struck; the cursed Blight. The years that followed were marked by heavy losses
in the potato crop, resulting in over one million mortalities and about two million
emigrants (Whelan 27 - 28). This was the last and most devastating famine ever in
Western Europe, and quite possibly the worst ever, per capita, anywhere (O Grada{II}
52). To this day Ireland’s population has yet to reach its 1841 high of over eight million.
Well, only some of this is true. The potato crop did fail and many died, but all
was not well on the emerald isle before 1845. One could imagine that successive failures
of a people’s main food crop would produce negative results, perhaps some starvations.
But how could losses to a single crop so dramatically alter a people’s vitality, as it did in
1840s Ireland? If the answer is their relatively extreme dependence on the nourishment
of the potato, this begs the question: How did it come to be that so many people relied so
heavily a single crop that they would starve without it? The short answer is poverty. The
Irish were quite poor, especially in comparison with their neighbors, the worldconquering
English. They were much less developed and had virtually no industry. So
the economy in Ireland was quite a bit different as well, with many laborers paid, in a
sense, with potatoes. Of the laborers employed by farmers, which were many, most if not
all of their wages went to renting shelter and a piece of land on which to grow the
potatoes to feed their families (Whelan 20). But then what of their friends to the east, the
English? The whole of Ireland was at the time a part of Great Britain, so do they not
have a responsibility to care for their people? They did try a few programs which helped
to alleviate suffering for a time, but all were ineffective solutions to the problem which
faced the Irish. Also, in English eyes, the Famine ended when there were no crop failures
in 1847, and so more or less their support ended as well. But the blight returned the
following year, and Ireland was left to deal with the Famine on its own, which continued
into the 1850s in some areas (Daly 133).
This paper hopes to shed some light on the questions posed above. As implied by
the title, there are a variety of views on the Famine, and to its extent. It is not so much
the facts...

Find Another Essay On The Great Famine of Ireland

The Famine in Ireland Essay

1955 words - 8 pages through the famine, but millions didn't. In 1847 there was another 100 bodies every day. The Famine was a great lost to Ireland and a very sad story for many. We now, in 2004 are only starting to regain our numbers of the population total that was there in 1845. Most people take this story for granted. There are many countries on the verge of famine in the world and we, now, are like the English then, wasting food and not giving as much money as we could. We all live in the same world and if we don't help each other then who can we expect help from in the future?By Kevin HolsgroveIveagh 3

The Devasation of the Great Potato Famine

773 words - 4 pages evict the Irish from their houses. This resulted in a very poor Irish economy. The Irish couldn’t keep any crops in their country other than the potato because the English would forcibly export it to Britain. The result of the Great Potato Famine was the death and suffering of many people through starvation. Although the Potato Famine was centralized in Ireland, it had spread through other parts of Britain as well. The Potato Famine wouldn’t be

The Great Potato Famine of 1845

3615 words - 15 pages When Ireland comes to mind for most people, they think of leprechauns or possibly four leaf clovers. Some may even think of St. Patricks day. These thoughts normally conjure happy feelings, but Ireland has a bitter past full of suffering. The Great Irish Potato Famine of 1845 was a period of five years where Ireland’s much depended on potato crop failed, leaving millions starving.The famine caused a population of eight million to decrease to

The Great Potato Famine

1473 words - 6 pages 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”. To better

The Great Irish Famine

1655 words - 7 pages The Great Irish Famine The great famine of Ireland began around the year of 1845, when a deadly fungus reached the crops, leaving thousands of acres of land filled with black rot, and diseased crops (Szabo). This disease has become commonly known as the blight. The blight was a “mysterious disease” that “almost universally affected the potatoes on the island” (Kinealy 31). This suspicious “blight” had traveled to Europe from North America

The Great Potato Famine

1291 words - 5 pages The Great Potato Famine The potato famine in Ireland was one of the most famous famines this world had ever seen, and still is. It devastated crops, families, and even whole counties. In a farm-based society such as Ireland, they were helpless to stop it. This essay describes just how bad it got, and what was done about it.In 1845 Phytophthora-infestons hit Ireland. This was a new type of fungus that hit very hard. The fungus came and spread so

The Great Chinese Famine

2021 words - 8 pages Tse Tung, set his eyes and focus on a country full of manufacturing and industry, calling it “The Great Leap Forward” plan, and so he did it. Yet, he did not think his plan fully through, and China, a country full of 700 million people, ran dry of food. This plan turned into a “Great Leap Backward”. (China’s...) The Great Chinese famine, some 45 million dead, an irrational emperor, and mass chaos. In 1958, Mao Tse Tung, emperor of China at the

The Fall of the Potato: Causes of the Great Famine

1487 words - 6 pages The Fall of the Potato: Causes of the Great Famine Phythophthora infestans was the lethal fungus that infested Ireland's potato crop and eventually ruined all of the land it grew on. This time is called the Great Famine and has impacted Ireland due to its destructive extinction of the potato farms which caused disease, extreme poverty, and death. There are several circumstances to take into consideration when looking at the causes of the

The Great Ireland

677 words - 3 pages Physical Geography Ireland is in Europe on the west coast of the Atlantic Ocean.There are four provinces that make up Ireland. These four provinces are: Connacht, Munster, Leinster, and Ulster. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle, because of its green color. The country of Ireland is a detached fragment from the European mainland and most of the country is 500 feet above sea level. It is separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea and from

The Great Irish Potato Famine

776 words - 4 pages Scientist have discovered the cause if the Irish potato famine was due to a fungus with the name of Phytophthora infestans, or “P. infestans”. The fungus doesn’t do so well in hot, dry weather. But when warm and muggy, which happens to be how Irelands climate is in the summer, the fungus flourishes and spreads at an enormous rate. A single plant can release several million spores in one day. When Phytophthora infestans first comes in contact

The Effects of Famine

729 words - 3 pages The Effects of Famine Have you experienced a famine? I bet most of you haven't because nowadays most countries are away from the famine. It is terrible to experience a famine. However, there are many famines which happened in the history, and happened in few areas. Famines have many negative effects in the world, and the three main effects are slow social development, high death rate, and lack of morality.First, the famine puts social

Similar Essays

The Great Famine Of Ireland Essay

1633 words - 7 pages During the mid-1800s, an event called the Great Famine happened in Ireland. This event was caused by the organism phytophthora infestans, commonly known as the potato blight, which infected the farmer’s potatoes and rendered them inedible. During this period, P. infestans left many people suffering or even dead because of their lack of food. This paper will go over various topics on the famine such as how it arrived in Ireland, the potato

The Great Potato Famine In Ireland

1354 words - 6 pages The Great Potato Famine was a horrendous event that would change Ireland forever. A fungus had attacked the potato crops throughout Ireland. The natives were extremely dependent on potatoes and when the blight came, it caused the economy to plummet. With the mass dependency on the potato, people began to harbor serious illnesses. Food was extremely scarce, which was a major issue for the population as a whole. Ireland was under the rule of the

Ireland Starves And Lives To Tell: The Effects Of The Great Potato Famine

1761 words - 7 pages Ireland Starves and Lives to Tell: The Effects of the Great Potato Famine “It must be understood that we cannot feed the people” (Kinealy Calamity 75). The mid 1800s in Ireland were characterized by extreme poverty, death, and emigration. The Great Potato Famine, also known as “The Great Hunger,” first hit in 1845; however, its effects lasted into the 1850s and can still be seen today. Prior to the famine, Irish manufacture and

Microorganisms And The Great Potato Famine In Ireland

1020 words - 5 pages Fungi, often referred to as friendly fungi. In 1928 Penicillin, one of the most famous of antibiotic drugs was discovered having derived it from the fungi called Penicillium. This discovery has since has a huge impact on helping people across the globe. However, not all is it seems, there are some nasty fungi that can cause diseases in plants, animals and people. A famous one being Phytophthora infestans. This caused the Great Potato Famine in