A paper on irish 1845 potato famine and the responsibilities of government

What was the Irish potato famine. Perhaps, it was thought, static electricity in the air resulting from the newly arrived locomotive trains caused it. Mahon was later murdered by his vengeful tenants. The potato was the staple food of the Irish rural poor in the mid nineteenth century and its failure left millions exposed to starvation and death from sickness and malnutrition.

Great Famine (Ireland)

Most of all, it lacked the belly-filling bulk of the potato. Most tenants had no security of tenure on the land; as tenants "at will", they could be turned out whenever the landlord chose.

Though some landlords went to great lengths to set up charities and soup kitchens, the popular memory of the famine years was of the tyranny of cruel landlords backed by the British state.

The potato crop did not fail that year, but most potato farmers had either not sown seeds in expectation that the potato crop would fail again, did not have any more seeds or had been evicted for failure to pay rent.

Irish Potato Famine

The potato blight destroyed about half the crop in and virtually all of it in LyonsJohn A. To an extent this had happened, Catholic Emancipation — giving Catholics equal civil rights — was passed in Senator Henry Clay said, "No imagination can conceive- no tongue express- no brush paint- the horrors of the scenes which are daily exhibited in Ireland.

Similarly damaging was the attitude among many British intellectuals that the crisis was a predictable and not-unwelcome corrective to high birth rates in the preceding decades and perceived flaws, in their opinion, in the Irish national character.

By then, the damage was done. See our other overviews here. It would be impossible adequately to describe the privations which they [the Irish labourer and his family] habitually and silently endure The vast majority of these people were Roman Catholictraditionally less inclined towards loyalty to the Crown.

This immediately plunged the rural poor into a crisis as they depended almost solely on the potato as their source of food.

Great Famine

Many flocked to the workhouses — where the destitute were granted food and shelter in exchange for work — but due to insanitary conditions, many died there.

The latter persisted in the form of Irish language manuscripts containing both prose and poetry: After briefly studying the situation, the Commission issued a gloomy report that over half of Ireland's potato crop might perish due to 'wet rot. He wrote that the people watched as their "food melting in rottenness off the face of the earth", all the while watching "heavy-laden ships, freighted with the yellow corn their own hands have sown and reaped, spreading all sail for England".

The result was that hardly any potatoes were harvested for the second year in a row. This time the food crisis was much more severe as most poor tenant farmer families now had nothing to fall back on and marked the start of mass starvation and death, made even worse by an unusually cold winter.

The Independent Irish Partyformed in Junedisintegrated within four years, but it was in major decline from when tenants benefited from a recovery in agricultural prices. Because the peasantry was unable to pay its rents, however, the landlords soon ran out of funds with which to support them, and the result was that hundreds of thousands of Irish tenant farmers and labourers were evicted during the years of the crisis.

Shortly before the famine the British government reported that poverty was so widespread that one-third of all Irish small holdings could not support their families after paying their rent, except by earnings of seasonal migrant labour in England and Scotland.

The famine caused mass migration, as about 1. It has been recorded and performed by a number of artistes most notably Karen Matheson as part of the Transatlantic SessionsCathy Jordan of Dervish and Eimear Quinn.

Great Famine

Some Catholics viewed the crisis in religious terms as Divine punishment for the "sins of the people" while others saw it as Judgment against abusive landlords and middlemen.

Ireland commemorated the th anniversary of the Great Famine in the s. The peak of the death toll occurred in the winter ofwhere in some districts up to a quarter or the population perished due to hunger, cold and disease. Competition for land resulted in high rents and smaller plots, thereby squeezing the Irish to subsistence and providing a large financial drain on the economy.

In an article on "English Rule" on 7 March, Mitchel wrote that the Irish People were "expecting famine day by day", and that they attributed it collectively not to "the rule of heaven as to the greedy and cruel policy of England".

One of the most high profile cases was that of Major Dennis Mahon, of the Strokestown estate in county Roscommon, who cleared 1, families off his land during the famine.

The Great Irish Famine 1845-1851 – A Brief Overview

Even more importantly, the Famine is a source of great economic errors, such as the claim that famines are the fault of the market and free trade, and that starvation results from laissez-faire policy. What was different in Ireland in the s. Trevelyan would visit Ireland just once during all of the Famine years, venturing only as far as Dublin, far from the hard-hit west of Ireland.

Landlords and tenants[ edit ] During the 18th century, the "middleman system" for managing landed property was introduced. The Public Works were "strictly ordered" to be unproductive—that is, they would create no fund to repay their own expenses.

This, I suppose is the real answer to the question with which we started.

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He expressed the view that the resources of Ireland were still abundantly adequate to maintain the population, and that, until those resources had been utterly exhausted, he hoped that there was no one in "Ireland who will so degrade himself as to ask the aid of a subscription from England".

Local food prices promptly dropped. Between andsome 50, families were evicted. Large bands of hungry people began to be noticed wandering countryside and towns, begging for food. According to Peter Gray in his book The Irish Famine, the government spent £7 million for relief in Ireland between and"representing less than half of one percent of the British gross national product over five years.

The Irish Potato Famine Six long years, with over 1 million dead, and nearly a quarter of the population missing, the Irish Potato Famine left a massive imprint in history (Irish 1). Most people underestimate the destruction of the Potato Famine because 1 million does.

The Great Famine of Ireland Essay Words | 21 Pages. The Great Famine of Ireland At the start ofall was well on the island of Ireland. Great Famine, also called Irish Potato Famine, Great Irish Famine, or Famine of –49, famine that occurred in Ireland in –49 when the potato crop failed in successive years.

The crop failures were caused by late blight, a disease that destroys both the leaves and the edible roots, or tubers, of the potato parisplacestecatherine.com causative agent of late blight is the water mold Phytophthora infestans. This essay will investigate the response of the British Government during the great famine of Ireland between and It will look at the political ideology that inspired the public relief works and how they failed to offer relief from starvation, but instead focused on bringing about social change inspired by largely an anti- Irish.

Great Famine, also called Irish Potato Famine, Great Irish Famine, or Famine of –49, famine that occurred in Ireland in –49 when the potato crop failed in successive years. The crop failures were caused by late blight, a disease that destroys both the leaves .

A paper on irish 1845 potato famine and the responsibilities of government
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Great Famine (Ireland) - Wikipedia