dimanche 14 décembre 2014

What was the Potato Famine?

1) HGL's F.B. writings : What was the Potato Famine?, 2) New blog on the kid : Good and Bad Stuff in Mater et Magistra

HGL (me) > ‎SNM (an Irish young lady)
I just described the events of 1840 like this:

100 potato farmers live close to one Anglo-Irish wheat farming landlord.

Potato crop goes wrong. AI wfll [Anglo-Irish wheat farming landlord] gives nothing to his neighbours, sells all to London to get his usual revenue. After the famine (like when aid at last arrives), 50 of his neighbours are dead, 40 off to US and 10 remain.

Was I basically wrong about the story?

I have two problems with what you wrote, though they are nothing major. First of all the worst famine, that is the Great Famine, was between 1845 and 1852 about. There were also other famines before that time. 1840 is correct in the sense that that was when the potato crop failure began, though there was no wide scale famine, to my knowledge. My second problem is with the figures. Though the scenario that you show could possibly have happened, most of the country saw a fall in population of less than 30%. There were some parts of Mayo, however, which were devastated with whole villages being wiped out. Another point that I would like to make is that almost all people at that time that had even the smallest patch of land grew potatoes. Most people would also have been tenants of the landlord. Few people owned their own land.

So, in that case the landlords who were selling wheat to London in 1845-1852 were basically letting their own tenants starve to death, whichever year was the worst one? I mean the one in which relief was debated for months and not done while people were starving to death.

That is practically what happened. I am almost sure that the worst year was 1847.

Oh, ok. Same year that Catholic Sonderbund of the four earliest Cantons was beaten by a centralising policy in the Swiss federacy. The year before the Revolutions of 1848.

Thanks for replying!

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