Irish Potato Famine

By Connor Lambson


Between 1845 and 1849 the Irish potato crop was afflicted with late blight, which destroyed the plants the people used to feed themselves. The British goverment provided minor help, that was overall inefficent. During this 4 year period the population of the country droped by 1.8 million, 1 million being deaths.
potato famine

Marxist criticism

This event can be view as one of haves vs have not. The haves in this case being the people of the mainland UK. They, while not having potatos, did get to eat other food such as grain and beef which where more expensive than what most Irish could afford. Where as the poor Irish could not afford more food and relied on their potatos.

The Britain Bias

The British government response to the famine was lackluster. They did provide money for soup kitchens, but told irish landowners it was up to them to provide aid money to people. The other major thing the British government did was push the idea that this was all the fault of the Irish. They claimed that it was the poor farming habits or lack of crop diversity that caused so much devistation at the hands of the disease.

How did the media respond?

Blaming the farmers and their poor practices.
Ignoring the Irish and focusing on the Scottish, who were having a similar but not as bad problem.
Claiming It was a famine and not a genocide till now.
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My opinion

In my opinion this was clearly a concise and malevolent act of disregard on the part of the British government. They could have help as was evident by their aid to the Scottish at the same time, despite the Scottish not having it as bad by far. The unwillingness to help the Irish shows that they would rather have the Irish fall than help them.


"Proving the Irish Famine Was Genocide by the British." IrishCentral. Web. 5 May 2015.

"Irish Potato Famine | Irish History." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica. Web. 5 May 2015.