Although there are many reasons why Irish peasants emigrated in large numbers between 1800 and 1850, some are more obvious than others. Two very obvious reasons Irish peasants emigrated are Catholic persecution by the British and the Great Potato Famine in the 1840's.
In the 1100's, the only English pope, Adrian IV, gave the English king, Henry II, the right to rule Ireland. Many problems occurred because of this. Peasants, who were mostly Catholic, were forced to pay taxes to the Church of Ireland, which was Protestant. Also, Catholics were no longer allowed to hold public offices. This violation of their rights made many of the Irish Catholics emigrate.
A second reason the Irish emigrated was the Great Potato Famine. In 1845, a fungus destroyed nearly all of Ireland's potatoes. Potatoes were one of Irelands most depended upon crops. Many peasants were dying of starvation. During this time, The British government forced the peasants to pay land rent even though they had little or no money. Many peasants fell into dept and lost their homes. This forced many peasants to emigrate in order to save themselves from starvation and homelessness.
Many Irish peasants were forced to emigrate in order to protect their lives, their culture, and their faith. Between 1800 and 1850 over one and a half million people emigrated from Ireland. Though there are many causes for this, two of them are the British's persecution of Irish Catholics and the Great Potato Famine.