Irish Immigration to Canada

Topics: Irish people, Irish diaspora, Canada Pages: 4 (1509 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Irish Immigration to Canada

The Irish began immigrating to North America in the 1820s, when the lack of jobs and poverty forced them to seek better opportunities elsewhere after the end of the major European wars. When the Europeans could finally stop depending on the Irish for food during war, the investment in Irish agricultural products reduced and the boom was over. After an economic boom, there comes a bust and unemployment was the result. Two-thirds of the people of Ireland depended on potato harvests as a main source of income and, more importantly, food. Then between the years of 1845 and 1847, a terrible disease struck the potato crops. The plague left acre after acre of Irish farmland covered with black rot. The failure of the potato yields caused the prices of food to rise rapidly. With no income coming from potato harvests, families dependent on potato crops could not afford to pay rent to their dominantly British and Protestant landlords and were evicted only to be crowded into disease-infested workhouses. Peasants who were desperate for food found themselves eating the rotten potatoes only to develop and spread horrible diseases. ¡§Entire villages were quickly homeless, starving, and diagnosed with either cholera or typhus.¡¨(Interpreting¡K,online) The lack of food and increased incidents of death forced incredible numbers of people to leave Ireland for some place which offered more suitable living conditions. Some landlords paid for the emigration of their tenants because it made more economic sense to rid farms of residents who were not paying their rent. Nevertheless, emigration did not prove to be an antidote for the Famine. The ships were overcrowded and by the time they reached their destination, approximately one third of its passengers had been lost to disease, hunger and other complications. However, many passengers did survive the journey and, as a result, approximately ¡§1.5 million Irish people immigrated to North...
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