Irish Famine

The Irish Great Famine, or An Gorta Mór, refers to events between 1845 and 1852, when the Irish nation was devastated by an agricultural catastrophe with effects that can be discerned to the present day. An estimated 1.5 million men, women, and children died of starvation and disease. Evidence of the potato blight first appeared in Canada and the United States in 1843; that same year, the Provincial Council of Flanders was attempting to cross-breed native species of potato with strains of hardy American tubers. By 1845, blight had infected the nation’s entire crop and quickly spread throughout western Europe. European nations, whose working classes had survived for generations on the nutritious potato, registered devastating crop losses. Coupled with poor grain crop yields, the calamity ...

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