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Why did so many people emigrate from Ireland to Britain and the USA between 1850 and 1914 - Essay Example

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Throughout the course of history people have witnessed large scale movements of populations from Ireland to other countries. There are a lot of factors which resulted in this mass scale emigration…
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Why did so many people emigrate from Ireland to Britain and the USA between 1850 and 1914
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Download file to see previous pages However, all such factors shall be discussed later on in the essay as we progress with it. All such emigrants moved along to various regions of the world, with America and Britain being most prominent ones as people believed that going to such counties would enable them to lead a superior lifestyle. Research has shown that somewhere around sixty five million to seventy five million people around the globe come from an Irish decent. These figures themselves speak of the mass scale emigration that took place in the country during the eighteenth and the nineteenth century. What is rather ironic is the fact that America has been home to the largest Irish community abroad. It has been observed from statistics alone that around thirty six million Americans have an Irish background or they claim to have their ancestry from Ireland. What is more shocking however is the fact that this figure of thirty six million people is more than nine times the population of Ireland itself. Research into facts has shown that one of the main reasons which resulted in such mass scale emigration was the Great Irish Famine. This Famine began in 1846 and went on for a period of six years to 1852 (IRELAND, 1997). Just between 1815 to the Great Famine period, somewhere between eight hundred thousand to a million people left Ireland for settling in North America. It shall also be noted here that the eighteen hundred thousand emigrants who left Ireland between 1845 and 1855, the period that coincided with the pre and post Great Famine period, came from a much economically lower status as compared to those who had moved to the United States of America prior to that period. This reason behind this mass scale movement isn’t much difficult to point out as the harsh conditions brought by the drought were enough motivation in itself for the Irish people to leave the country in search of a better future (DEIGNAN, 2003). This emigration however, was not only limited to the pre and post famine period. This emigration went on till around middle of the nineteenth century as the domestic economy of Ireland failed to perform well after the great and deadly Famine. Other reasons which can be deemed to have contributed to this movement include the shift in methods of farming to tillage based from pasture. Also, the Irish law was designed in a very peculiar manner as it permitted inheriting of the parents’ farms not by all of their sons, but only the eldest. This law was of extremely non-impartial nature and after the famine there already weren’t many opportunities left for the younger sons of a family (BIELENBERG, 2000). Therefore a lot of people also left the country to go somewhere where laws were equal and where their future could have been safe and secure. Major emigration of the Irish people owing to the Great Famine witnessed a rather shocking drop in Ireland’s population. Statistics have shown that the country’s population went on to stand at just forty four hundred thousand in 1911 in comparison to sixty five hundred thousand in 1851 and roughly around ninety hundred in the 1840’s. Other than the Great Famine, there were also various other reason which contributed to the large scale emigration that took place in the country. One of the main reasons was that the demand for agricultural workers had fallen dramatically owing to the rough conditions of the agricultural land post famine. It shall also be mentioned that the wage rates in the United States of America were much higher in comparison to Ireland and that also caused a strong desire in the Irish people to move there and make a healthy livelihood for their families. Another factor which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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