Great Potato Famine Essay

1400 Words 6 Pages
From about 1845 to around 1852 a great famine occurred in Ireland. It was very devastating for lots of people. Countless people died due to food shortages and others became ill and died later. The famine was caused by a fungus-like protest, which caused potatoes to rot. The Irish people depended heavily on potatoes, so when their main crop failed, the people were left without food to eat and without anything to sell for money. Many other people that did not die in Ireland immigrated to other countries like the United States in search for a better life. This famine was one of the reasons for large groups of Irish settlements in the Midwest, as they only knew farming to make a living. To make matters worse, the country bordering them, …show more content…
They only follow rice, wheat, and maize. Potatoes were very easy to grow and the yield was very good. One farmer could grow up to triple the amount of potatoes as they could grow grain on the same area of land. “A single acre of potatoes could support a family for a year (Mintz & McNeil, 2013).” The farmers began to plant more potatoes and less other crops such as wheat and corn. Potatoes are also a very good source of nutrition, so the Irish people could survive with their diet consisting of primarily potatoes. Potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, copper, and vitamin C. They also have more potassium than bananas. “On average, adults in Ireland ate 10 pounds of potatoes per day (Fradin, 2012)!” Approximately half of Ireland’s population relied on potatoes for survival. Potatoes were also a source of income for many people. Because so many people depended on potatoes, when the crop failed, many people were left without food and without a source of income. Starvation led to other causes of death because people became run down from lack of nutrition, and caught diseases cholera, dysentery, scurvy, and typhus. Numerous farmers and their families got kicked out of their homes by landlords. People were forced to try to make to shelters and the shelters were often overcrowded. Because of this overcrowding, infestations of lice spread about. “It began with a blight of the potato crop that left acre upon acre of Irish farmland covered with black rot (” When

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