Irish Potato Famine - Joshua Dray Dr Austin History of...

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Joshua Dray Dr. Austin History of Terrorism 10-24-11 Irish Potato Famine The potato famine in Ireland was one of the most culturally destructive famines in all of history. The potato famine started in 1845 and lasted for six years. The famine was responsible for over one million deaths as well as for over one million people fleeing from the country. During this time period in Ireland the nation was one that which was supported by agricultural means. Ireland had a population of around eight million people, of which these were the poorest people in the Western World. Life expectancy was short, and families were often incredibly large. Many of the families in Ireland lived on small parcels of land which were owned by the English and Anglo-Irish hereditary ruling class. Landlords were often considered absentee landlords meaning that they would only step foot on their land once or twice a year if at all. Families lived in very small mud huts often sharing the place where they sleep with their livestock. An average farmer had a parcel of land which was less than ten acres. Farmers were at the will of their landlords; they had little to no rights on the property and could be evicted at a moment’s notice. Tenants had little initiative to improve their living conditions, as any improvements made to the property would become the property of the landlord.
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