The Irish Immigrants

Essay by snarly2006High School, 10th grade February 2006

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Canada is a country with a population of approximately 30 million people, of which 4 million are of Irish ancestry. We find ourselves asking these questions; when did the Irish arrive, how did they travel, and why did they leave their homeland of Ireland? In this report you will find all the answers to those questions, and receive a better understanding of what the Irish immigrants went through to get to this beautiful country of Canada.

Up until the 17th century, Ireland, much like the rest of Europe, consisted of many peasants under the rule of wealthy landowners. However by 1661, 40% of Ireland was owned by England, including the rich landowners. Many peasants stayed working as tenant farmers, tending to the land and paying rent for the small lots of property they lived on and grew their own food. But as crops became less profitable, many landowners began taking back the land from the poor Irish, in order to graze sheep and cattle for the English.

This led to many evictions, where the tenant farmers were forced off the land with no warning at all. Those who weren't evicted found there was next to no land available for them. Many Irish who had faced the dramatically raised rents and the horrible job market were starting to worry. The agricultural industry grew but modern machinery eliminated the need for most manual labor. In 1824 the English removed all its Irish workers and created cheaper English goods and textiles. As a result, Irelands industry collapsed. The old workers were forced back into agriculture, with its already overtaxed labor farmers. They usually had a large family and lived in a small thatched cottage on a farm of only 8 acres. Their main crop were potatoes, until 1845, (which you will learn...