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The Potato Famine Essay

1131 words - 5 pages

In the mid-1800s Ireland heavily relied on the growth of the potato. The phytophthora infestans spread Ireland quickly infecting all of the potato crops. This paper will cover the many different parts of the potato famine. The potato, who invented the potato, how much Irish people relied on the potato and many other interesting things, as well as the development of the potato. One of the main reasons of that caused the potato famine was that many people slept in one cabin sharing it with many farm animals and sleeping on stray beds that are on the ground. That spread many diseases throughout Ireland.
The history of the potato refers to the plant and its edible tuber. The potato was first domesticated about 7,000 years ago in southern Peru and Bolivia. The potato developed to be one of the most edible vegetables in many places in the word, including Ireland. During the eighteenth century the popularity of the potato went through the roof. The potato was easy to move because unlike wheat the potato is really durable and grows underground. The potato is used in many ways. It can be used to feed livestock and starch is used in plant research. The potato his high in carbohydrates and is known for its nutritional value. The top two potato producing countries in the world are China and India.
The immigration of the potato blight, was in the 1840’s. A new disease of potatoes was reported in Philadelphia in 1843. In 1845 the disease was reported to be in Canada and in the Northern United States. (Fry, Goodwin, Dyer, Matuzak, & Drenth, 1993) In later 1845 the disease was found in Europe, Belgium to be specific. By mid-

October most of Ireland was infected with the P infestans. Two different ways the blight could have moved are guessed. One the fungus could have come from Mexico to the U. S. and then traveled to Europe or could have went from Mexico straight to Europe. The P infestans spread quickly when it got to Europe. The international potato seed trade sped up the migration of the potato.
One of the agriculture laws of Ireland at the time of the famine was the The Corn Laws. The Corn Laws were putting high tariffs on imported food. Sir Robert Peel believed that by bring in good food and exporting the bad would help during the potato famine. The corn laws wanted to bring 100,00 pounds of corn from the united states. During the Corn laws Irish farming fell behind Britain. In 1813 a committee group argued that farming should have a minutest price of 105 shilling. (Cambell, Egan, Kinealy, & Kissane). When Ireland was under Peel and Tories the people of Ireland went hungry, but they did not fully starve. The Irish poor laws were a group of laws to help with poverty in Ireland at the time of the famine.
The food exports in Ireland. During the famine Ireland was exporting foods to England. 75% of Irish soil was filed with oats, wheat, barley and some other crops that were exported at the time. Over 4,000 ships were used to export foods to ports...

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