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The Effects of the Irish Famine of 1846.

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The Effects of the Irish Famine of 1846 The initial effect of the famine was hardship and consequently social unrest, starvation, reduced fertility, and mass emigration. I am going to look specifically at the decline in population over one hundred years from 1801 to 1901. As the table illustrates the population of Ireland steadily increases from 1801 to 1846, when the famine occurred. Although, the increase was gradually getting smaller as conditions in Ireland gradually worsened and increasing numbers of people moved away in search of a better life as Sam will on to discuss. ...read more.


A small number of men also emigrated further a field before the famine, but these were mainly single artisans. The period between 1846 and 1851 sees the biggest decline in population. From eight million, two hundred, and eighty eight thousand, to six million, five hundred, and fourteen thousand. It is hard to establish exactly what happened to this missing population because of problems with reliable birth and death figures. However, I think it is fair to assume that during this period a large proportion of people died. ...read more.


What is especially significant about this, is that after the famine it was whole families who emigrated and not just young men. In this way whole Irish communities were set up in port towns and cities. Fertility also fell. If the great Irish famine of 1846 had not occurred then I propose that the Irish population would have declined by the end of the nineteenth century anyway. This is because better opportunities were available abroad, another potato rot occurred in 1863 and another famine during the 1880s. Also the decline in fertility, while not as noticeable as England would have occurred as families realised that a better standard of living could be achieved with fewer mouths to feed. ...read more.

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