The Irish Essay

1786 words - 7 pages

                              Ireland has a great history of war, famine, despair, and hardship. Throughout the years the Irish have come from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. In this paper I will give a history of the Irish people before coming to America, what it was coming here, how they were welcomed to their new home, and how they are faring now. I will also expose many of the stereotypes that the Irish have pinned to them and the reason that they are there.
     In the early 1800's, the Irish had great success in the potato industry due to the high prices for agricultural products because of the war with England. Soon though, prices began to fall and so did productivity. For that reason, the owners of the farm land turned there plots into grazing areas. There was an addition problem though, what would happen to the hundreds of other farmers that worked the land? One popular solution for most “landlords”, as they were called, was to evict all the tenants, whether they were paid up for rent or not. Then they would destroy their homes so that they could not return.(No author 1).
     The now homeless people turned to secret organizations to retaliate against the people that they once depended on to live their lives. Some names of these groups were Rightboys, Thrashers, Ribbonmen, and Whitefoots.(No author 1). When these vigilantes were caught, their punishments were severe. Something as simple as stealing a piece of bread could land you a multiple year sentence in prison. To add insult to injury, the prisons that these people were sent to was in Australia, many miles away from there homes. It was thought that things for the Irish could not get any worse, but in 1845 that is just what happened.
     The potato was a very significant part of the Irish way of life. It is one of the few foods that a person can survive solely on. Many homes lived exclusively on the potato, they could

not afford anything else and it kept them alive. What would happen if for some odd reason, all the crops failed and people were not able to support themselves with the potato? No one gave this possible scenario any thought because it seemed absurd that such a thing could occur. But in 1845, a disease destroyed over half of the potato crops in Ireland. The Irish had hoped that it would be an isolated incident and prayed that next year might be a more productive one. But 1846 proved to be even worse then the...

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