Great Famine

Topics: Ireland, Irish diaspora, Great Famine Pages: 4 (1620 words) Published: December 9, 2012
From Three Views

The Great Famine of 1845 -1849 was a trying time for many, specifically the Irish, British, and immigrants to Canada. These three groups, although in the middle of the same problem, held very different sometimes opposing views. To fully understand why there were various views one must take into account the social, cultural, economic, and governmental situations of each group. For the British, the problem was whether or not to take action, and if so how and when. In the Irish-men's eyes, it was the problem of taking hold of the situation, feeding its population, and tending to the ill. Lastly, the immigrants to Canada had the arduous decision of taking the grueling journey to Canada for asylum without knowing whether or not it would be successful or beneficial, and having the task of beginning anew. All three,despite the differences, had very challenging problems to overcome. During the time Ireland had a population of eight million, which largely consisted of poorer people living in the rural countryside, as most were farmers. Ireland was an agricultural nation where most of its people would farm on estates of an absentee landowner. The landowners ancestors had gained the land from the conquest of Oliver Cromwell years before. Despite having ownership, landowners would never visit more than a couple times a year and hire some locals to oversee the rest of the time. From this, the landowners had a blind eye, oblivious to the happenings of the people in their own land due to living out in London. For the people working on the estates, it was as if they were working on land that was their own but giving their profits to someone who was never there. From this, the farmers were essentially living on their own, left to resolve problems and handle their own way of life. Much of the population lived in small clusters of towns where a family of twelve would share a small house. Since they were farming primarily for the landowner most crops would be...

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