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THe Irish Famine - Essay Example

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In the mid-nineteenth century the very survival of many Irish poor was dependent on the potato crop for various reasons, many of which remain in question today. Internal and external factors depressed the economy of the nation and potatoes were often the lone food source for…
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Download file to see previous pages nineteenth century were severely underdeveloped” which “had crucial implications for the working of the economy.”1 However, it cannot be denied that the effects of the potato failure had long-reaching and detrimental effects upon the population at large. There were many reasons why potatoes emerged as the primary crop for Irish farmers to subsist upon. Potatoes are nutritious, easily grown and stored which made it the perfect food for the times and circumstances. The production of potatoes as a means of feeding the family, while all other crops and manufactured goods were used for outside trade or to further enrich the land for planting, enabled society to flourish in the first part of the century. However, when potatoes became suddenly unavailable, the hardships and deaths that followed were of catastrophic proportion. There have been a wide variety of theories as to why this happened, including the contention that the decline would have occurred regardless of what might have happened with the potato crops, but careful analysis has continued to demonstrate that the failure of the potatoes created a significant shift in the direction of Ireland that continues into the present day. This sad event in history has led people to question why it happened, the effectiveness of governmental remedies and how a similar event can be prevented in the future.
The human suffering that resulted from the ‘Irish Potato Famine’ of 1846 to 1850 occurred predominantly due to the peasant class of Irish being reliant solely on one crop, the potato, for sustenance. Prior to the 1800’s, the Irish grew several different types of crops, many of which would have been able to meet the humanitarian need that would arise in the failure of potatoes. These included barley, rye, oats and vegetables.2 However, British law, concerned with protecting British interests, introduced the protectionist legislation referred to as the Corn Law. This law, and subsequent laws ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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