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An Introduction to The Great Famine

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An Introduction to The Great Famine After a warm, uninterrupted summer, the late summer beckoned, and at the beginning of September, when the potatoes were to be harvested, it became clear that entire crops were diseased and unfit for consumption by either man or animal. Within months the disease had spread and the Irish were in the grip of a dire potato blight, which within months had wiped out three quarters of the entire potato crop in Ireland. It should not be thought that the potato blight was the only reason for the famine, granted it was a primary factor, however when coupled with a huge inflation within the Irish population, and that meant due to this, people had significantly less land to grow and harvest crops, this when coupled with the potato blight made it neigh on impossible to prevent the starvation of an entire country. ...read more.


Demographic Change: During the start of the famine there was no significant political interference, however there was just enough to aid a small majority ( political developments will be explained further on in the document.) The most dramatic consequence of the Great famine was on the population. About one million men, women and children died in Ireland during the years 1845-1850 as a result of starvation and diseases relating to starvation. Furthermore a further one and a half millions Irish emigrated to a variety of countries around the world. The sudden decline in population resulted in a loss of a quarter of the Irish population, according to the census, it went from eight million in 1841 to six million in 1851. These very sudden and abrupt changes had a direct impact on the organisation of the landholdings. ...read more.


" All we want is to get out of Ireland we must be better anywhere but here." This is a quote from a man stricken by poverty and desperate to leave because of the famine. This view was similar in the eyes of millions of Irish people who could put up with no more poverty. About a quarter of the emigration went to England and Scotland were industrialisation were a key factor as it provided many with regular well paid work. This figure still left over a million people who emigrated This cartoon, appearing July 15, 1848, appears to be anonymous. It portrays a poor family in Ireland and a prosperous family living abroad. Notice the strained inclusion of a shovel among the prosperous family, a symbol of labour, it shows classic differences in their lifestyles. The entire caption reads "Here and There; or, Emigration a Remedy." ...read more.

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