by farming and relying on the potato. The potato was their main source of food and
money. With out the potato, the Irish would have nothing. No one was prepared for what
was about to happen in 1845, the beginning of the Great Irish Potato Famine.
In the early to mid 1800s Ireland was a very poor and difficult place to live. Most
of the land was owned by landowners that lived in England and rented their land out to
Irish citizens. The owners had almost no interest in their land and property in Ireland.
They only cared about getting their money from their renters. The rents were overpriced
and living costs in Ireland were also extremely high. The living conditions for the renters
in Ireland were horrible, with one-room houses that were expected to shelter whole
families. Another problem with the country was that over 70% of the population were
illiterate. The renters would use their land to farm potatoes because they were cheap, easy
to grow, full of vitamins, and you could grow a lot in a small area and in poor farming
conditions. The whole country relied on the crop of potatoes as their source of food and
In the mid 1800s there were many seasons that produced poor crops, and in some
cases no potatoes at all. These seasons were thought to be bad crop seasons. After these
bad seasons, farmers became upset and began to grow poorer quality potatoes known as
"Lumper potatoes" or "Horse potatoes" instead of the stronger healthier potatoes. These
new potatoes were originally grown for feed for farm animals and were more prone to
disease, but because they grew in the poorest conditions possible, humans would have to
eat them due to the loss of the healthier potatoes.
In 1845, a crop disease known as "blight" would be introduced to Ireland. It was a... [continues]
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