Irish Potato Famine Essay

1658 Words Sep 25th, 1999 7 Pages
In the early 1800s life in Ireland wasn't easy, Irish citizens got by day to day 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.

The Irish Potato Famine was the worst tragedy in the history of Ireland. The outcome of the famine would result in hundreds of thousands dead, an failure of the economy in Ireland, and millions of emigrants forced to leave their home and country just to try to survive. The famine would effect countries other than Ireland as well. Some of these countries included England, America, Canada, and Australia.
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This resulted in more unsanitary conditions.

Eventually the federal government imported Indian corn from America to be distributed to the most desperate people. Although it was for good intentions, it didn't comply with Irish expectations for food. The corn was difficult to mill on the small number of mills in Ireland, it was difficult to digest, and it was not very filling, leaving many Irish hungry. It eventually became accepted and the Irish learned to deal with it.

In 1846 due to no effort to rid the infected potatoes of the previous year the new season provided enough food to feed the country for only one month. This caused people to eat what ever they could get their hands on. People ate dogs, horses, birds, mushrooms, roots, flowers, and anything that was believed to have a nutritional value. Fish was a food that involved a risk to obtain due to the rough Irish seas and rocky coast. Shellfish and seaweed were eaten but after many people died from eating poisonous varieties of both.

Crime rates rose, and because of overcrowed prisons and expensive costs of keeping prisoners alive, convicted prisoners were sent to Australia. This caused for people to break laws just to escape the danger of living in Ireland.

Other diseases began such as the typhus fever, bacilli dysentery, ophthalmia, an
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