Irish Famine

Topics: Ireland, English people, Irish people Pages: 2 (842 words) Published: May 13, 2014
Irish Famine
Due to the famine in Ireland, the decline in population was huge and had a massive effect on the country. It is estimated that over 1.5 million people died with some areas being severely effected. The counties which received the largest decline in population were; Cork, Galway, Mayo and Tipperary. In sharp contrast, Dublin was the only county to have increased in population by 32,000. Although the famine itself probably resulted in about 1.5 million deaths, the resultant emigration caused the population to drop by a further 3 million. About 1 million of these are estimated to have emigrated in the immediate famine period, with the depression that followed continuing the decline until the second half of the 20th century. These migrants largely ended up in North America, with some in Australia and in Britain. Between 1845 and 1855, 1.5 million people left for good. In 1845, emigration was at the pre-famine rate of 50,000 per year, this rose in 1846 when 100,000 left. It peaked in 1847, when 250,000 left. Over the next 5 years it averaged 200,000 per year, before the numbers fell off. By 1855, the rate was down to 70,000 per year again. As a result of this mass emigration there are 70 million people of Irish descent in the world with Ireland accounted for 17 out of the 44 presidents in America e.g. Reagan, Obama and Kennedy. There are many who believe that it is due to the famine that the Irish language had steeply declined at this period. This in actual fact, is incorrect. It was due to many contributing factors that it deteriorated. The Gaelic Aristocracy of Ireland became associated with English culture and literature and turned away from acting as patrons to Irish artists, harpists, bards etc. From the 1730s Middle Class Catholic Families chose to communicate in English because Irish came to symbolise a lack of education and was associated with poorer people. The Catholic Church from the 1790s onward conducted its business through English. Hedge...
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