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The British Potato Famine

             The potato famine was a horrible event resulting in many deaths and mass immigration caused by potato blight, the tenant farming system and Britain's rule over Ireland. .
             A cause of the potato famine was the oppression of the Irish Catholics by England. King Henry the VII disagreed with the Pope, leader of the Catholic Church, over his wish to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon. The Catholic Church was the leading religion at the time and very influential in the government. So king henry set himself up as head of the protestant church. The government then took control over Ireland as protection from the catholic countries England was surrounded by. England took full control in the 1800s, putting in many rules that banned Irish Catholics from having seats in parliament, speaking their native tongue and practising their religion. Resulting the good land of Ireland in the north being taken away and given to Protestants. Irish Catholics were affected to such a level that they were the most vulnerable part of the population and most likely to succumb to famine. .
             The tenant farming system and reliance on the potato crop was another cause. By the 19th century Ireland was totally reliant on England and economically exploited. Most land in Ireland was owned by English landlords, tenants relied on the potato crop as their main food source because they had to use other crops and livestock to pay rent to the landlords. The price of living increased and Irish Catholics were forced into poverty, causing them to have to use all their other resources to pay rent. England also banned many of Irelands an export from being traded to Britain's other colonies meaning Ireland was being ripped off by England. The tenant farming system and total reliance on the potato crop meaning any crop failures would be a disaster. .
             The fungal disease potato blight triggered the famine. The fungus spread through Ireland destroying their primary food source.

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