The Irish Famine 1845-1849 Essay

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The Irish Famine 1845-1849 “Is ar scáth a chiéle a maireann na daoine” “It is with each other’s protection that the people live” From the Fifteenth through to the Nineteenth centuries English Monarchies and Governments had consistently enacted laws which it seems were designed to oppress the Irish and suppress and destroy Irish Trade and manufacturing. In the Penal laws of 1695 which aimed to destroy Catholicism, Catholics were forbidden from practicing their religion, receiving education, entering a profession, or purchasing or leasing land; since Catholics formed eighty percent of the Irish population, this effectively deprived the Irish of any part in civil life in their own country.…show more content…
Advocates of Bentham had influenced the political attitudes of a generation. They had a natural distrust of the idea of state aid, which they believed would create what would later be called a dependency culture, and lead to national bankruptcy. They did not feel it was right to put money into relieving the plight of the British poor, so they were even more opposed to intervening for the benefit of the Irish poor, whom most of the British felt were inferior and were rightly kept in their place by the Free trade policy. In 1801 the Irish Constitution was annulled in the Act of Union, and by the 1820’s eighty percent of Irish land was owned by British or Scottish land owners, who were often absentee landlords. One quarter of Irish land was unused but unavailable for farming by the Irish. The Woollen, Poplin, Linen and Furniture and Glass industries disappeared. Fishing was reduced due to a lack of capital for boats and storage; “Free trade” caused sixty percent unemployment. In 1829 The Duke of Wellington wrote “There never was a country in which poverty existed to the extent it exists in Ireland.” In the summer of 1845 a potato disease struck Ireland. A fungus Photophthora Infestans turned the potato harvest into decaying blackish masses of rottenness, unfit for human or animal consumption. Potato diseases had
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