The Great Irish Famine

Topics: Great Famine, Phytophthora infestans, Potato Pages: 2 (570 words) Published: April 15, 2014
. Potato crops were the best option for Irish people because potatoes provide lots of nutrients and the crops were easy to grow in Irish lands due to their adaptability in almost any surface. However, the dependency on potatoes started to be dangerous when a new potato disease commonly known as potato blight affected the crops year after year in the 1840’s. This disease caused the loss of great part of the crops until the end of the decade, but especially in the year 1847, called the black forty-seven because it affected more than 90% of the crops. The potato blight came from America in a shipment of seed potatoes for European farmers. Irish farmers, who landed almost only one type of vegetable, a potato called the Irish Lumper, were the most affected ones by this disease as they did not have anything else to land and most of the crops fell because this new disease. However, Ireland wasn’t the only affected country but it was the most affected one indeed. In 1845 the Irish expected a great potato harvest but instead, 50%of the crops were lost. The year after, the problem got worse and 1847 was the worst year of this 3 year period as almost all the potatoes were lost. At first, the British Empire did not do anything to solve the problem as they thought it was a common potato famine, but in 1846, when they realized it was not, Sir Robert Peel imported £100,000 worth of corn. The corn was welcomed in Ireland despite this measurement not being enough to stop hunger, as more than £300,000 worth of potatoes were lost. After this, the government tried to help by providing public work and creating employment for people to earn some money. They also provided emergency fever hospitals to deal with diseases. However, some people thought that the Irish were not worth the effort and that they had what they deserved. Moreover, if they did not know how to survive to the famine they had better die for common well being. The majority of the landlords were British, and supported...
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