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Short-Term Significance of the Great Famine

            Reading Anglo-Irish relations into great depth lately has given me a very clear choice of topic for this essay, which is The Great Famine. I believe there is no other event of the same magnitude in Irish history, thus I believe the effects of the Famine were huge, both in the short and long-term. I have chosen this topic specifically because of the way it injured the Irish population and created antipathy for over a century between the Irish and the British. In this essay, I will focus on the impact of lack of British help as well as the reaction of the Irish towards the British as well as conflicts in Ireland itself due to land problems such as ones created by the Gregory clause using both primary and secondary sources, which at times will contradict greatly (especially on who to blame), and will conclude with the view that the short-term impact of the Great Famine was not just British-hatred in Ireland but growth in nationalist radicalism.
             For most of the 19th Century Irish people were dependent on potato crops to survive, in 1845 they were expecting potato of the "most luxurious character [And] promising abundant yield." However they had the awful surprise of finding diseased potatoes unfit for consumption. Due to their dependency on the potato, the Irish suffered from mass starvation leading to a huge number of deaths shown on the population decrease between "1941 and 1951 from 8,175,000 to 6,552,00"2. W. Steuart Trench details the reaction of the Irish as well as the effect on them when hearing about the blight as "General desolation, misery, and starvation now rapidly affected the poorer classes throughout Ireland." This source paints an awful picture displaying how bleak the situation suddenly became in some parts of Ireland. Trench ends by saying that "no adequate arrangements had been made to meet this calamity." It is clear that as a middle/upper class man he lost quite a lot of capital in the blight, therefore I do not find this source completely reliable because it seems to me that he was just trying to find a body to blame, and he chose the British.

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