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the great famine

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Klaus Müller

on 14 June 2010

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Transcript of the great famine

The Great Famine starvation illnes emigration The potato was the principal source of nutrition Why did the Great Famine happen? It was ideally suited to the Irish climate
gave a high return per acre
a single acre could support a family of 5–6 people
could also be used to generate income
animals were used to pay the rent and were never regarded as food
1/3 of the population was totally dependent on the potato in poor regions 90% The potato Over-Population potato disease "late blight" "potato blight" people married early in life and had large families
children were seen as insurance against starvation in their old age
the acre per person got smaller potato disease Over-Population starvation illnes during time the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent September First report of disease in the potato crop

October Sir Robert Peel, the Prime Minister, appointed a
commission of enquiry February Every county was now affected ¾ of the country’s potato crop had been destroyed
Typhus and cholera was soon registered in 25 counties out of 32
Corn Laws were removed
-->The price of bread fell, but about a third of the Irish couldn’t afford bread anyway

July Lord John Russell became Prime Minister.

August 140,000 were employed on public works
This fed in total 700,000 people
The workhouses, with a capacity of 100,000, were filling rapidly
1.5 million were still starving

epidemic of typhus and relapsing fever raged across Ireland

Thousands of people died especially the old
The government decided to distribute free food
--> Soup Kitchen act
The relief works were wound up rapidly while the Soup Kitchens were slow in appearing
-->There was a sharp rise in deaths

about 100,000 Irish had emigrated to Liverpool

potato harvest was good, but small,
-->Soup Kitchen Act was not continued
Poor Law legislation
Anyone who owned more than a quarter of an acre of land was not eligible
forced many to give up their land

By 1847, ¼ million were emigrating annually,
Agricultural labourers began to disappear
Most, 75%, went to America The blight returned
with outbreaks of cholera
Famine victims peaked in July at almost 840,000 people
29 July uprising against the government
The famine returned
was attended by cholera outbreaks
Cholera epidemic killed one of Ireland's greatest poets:
James Clarence Mangan The Famine ended
By 1851 the population of Ireland had fallen to 6,575,000
The famine left up to a million dead and another million emigrated
Bitterness by the Irish towards the British government
The fall-out of the famine continued for decades afterwards
By the Way
Did you know that they have Irish ancestors? Ronald Regan
40th president of the United States John F. Kennedy
35th President of the United States The Dead & Cultural Changes

The Irish Famine of 1846-50 took one million lives

The Irish language suffered a near fatal blow

Land holdings became larger
The farm was given to one son
The others often had little choice but to emigrate

the cottiers and labourers Emigration

one million emigrated during the famine years
by 1900, over 4 million had left Ireland
till the 1950s averaging 60,000 a year


Irish people realised that they had to take control of their own affairs

New generation of rebels and agitators was born

greater sense of Irish identity
The 1916 Easter Rising
War of Independence
Civil War
ultimate Independence

The Landlord class was ruined by the famine
Many Landlords were bankrupt
1845 ?
Full transcript