The Potato Famine

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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Immigration and the Potato Famine The British Empire in Ireland did not cause the Potato Famine, but contributed to the over all severity of it and forced many people to emigrate into other parts of the world. The British had control over Ireland for hundreds of years and was in control of what went on there. They controlled all of the government and politics. The British implemented many new laws which did not allow the Irish to practice the Catholic religion, they had to become Protestant. The Catholics began to receive penalties and eventually the Protestants took over. Many Catholics had a very difficult time and began to depend on the potato as a source of food and money. When the potato harvest went bad everything fell apart for them. They had no money and the British did absolutely nothing to help them. In fact the British implemented many laws to hurt the Catholics and caused many of them to emigrate into other countries.

They traveled in horrible conditions and many of them died, while the British stood by and watched. It took many years and many deaths for the mass immigration to stop. Eventually things calmed down, but not until Ireland severed all ties from Britain. Now things are better, and Ireland is working through all of the problems.

During 1798 the Irish staged a revolution against the British Empire. However, the British army was extremely powerful and over powered the Irish. Two years later the British implemented the British Act of Union which made Ireland part of the United Kingdom. Combined with the Penal Laws these two acts made it even more difficult for the Irish to practice Catholicism because the British thought that everyone should be a Protestant. The Penal Laws said that if a landowner...