Essay about The Great Potato Famine

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The Great Potato Famine

The Great Potato Famine is characterized as one of the leading disasters in Ireland’s history. It began in the summer of 1845 with the appearance of an unusual disease growing on potato crops throughout various parts of Europe. With the spread of this disease, it soon targeted Ireland consuming the major crop of potatoes. The famine began by this mysterious disease that hit many parts of Europe during 1845. This disease known as the blight was caused by a fungus known ‘phytophthora infestans’. Prior to the blight, two main diseases known as ‘curl’ and ‘dry rot’ attacked Ireland but were not as destructive (Kinealy 33). The blight was known to be originated from South America through cargo ships that
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By Ireland lacking things such as coal and iron, and not being as conductive in any other special skills, their reliance was on the agriculture of the country. Remaining then on the agriculture and the production of goods, the main importance therefore was the potato (O’Brien 103). Among the expanding population, the limit of potatoes was scarce, and in the event of something as serious as the blight, the dependency became higher which led some people to emigrate or starve (O’Brien 103). At this time, about forty percent of the entire potato crop was ruined, so the dependency began to grow stronger, and people began to make decisions on what to do because of the overpopulation and scarce food sources (Newsinger 2). The main cause for why Ireland was hit so hard during the spread of the blight was because of the over-populated areas in certain parts of Ireland.

The Famine in Ireland was based on several circumstances which occurred within the Country. Another cause was the dependency on the potato which resulted from the over-population. Since potatoes were grown by a considerable section of the population, this caused such a dependency that other citizens concentrated on Irelands agricultural growth of grains. A few years before the Famine, the Irish economy expanded in the production of grains and exporting them to other countries such as Britain. With the growth of grain exports from Ireland to Britain, the
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