Irish Potato Famine

1659 words 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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There were only 28 hospitals in Ireland and these were helpless to the thousands of citizens in need of care. Thousands of more people became homeless between 1846 and 1847 because their landlords kicked them off the land making them homeless. They found shelter in ditches, and wherever else they could but this also helped spread the diseases. Some renters were murdered by their landowners so that they would not have to deal with a dispute when they would be told that they were evicted.

To help their renters out, some landowners gave enough money to their renters for them to make it to the America. In 1847 250,000 people left Ireland to America. The costs were covered by some charities. The ships that were used for transporting immigrants were ships that used for trade between America and England. The empty ships heading back toward America were packed with immigrants. The ships were known as ‘Coffin Ships' because an average of 5% died on the voyage to their new homes.

An example of a coffin ship would be ‘Elizabeth and Sarah' it was a boat that was equipped for 212 people but was packed with 276. It was loaded with 8700 gallons of water, but the passengers required 12,532 gallons. Each person was given a pound of food per day. There was only 32 sleeping arrangements for all 276 people to share. The captain took the wrong route and the trip


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