The Economic Problem in Ireland Were the Same After the Great Famine as Before. Discuss in Relation to 1798-1852…

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The Great Famine was caused by the failure of a potato crop, however this impacted various different things, including starvation, disease and death on a huge scale throughout Ireland. The population rise meant that division and sub-division had accelerated even more rapidly than before, this meant that there was a huge increase in ‘landless’ labourers who worked when they could but often struggled to find it due to the amount of small farms only just being able to provide enough produce to keep their families alive. Irish labourers were also given small scraps of land instead of a wages and this meant that they were practically cotters; in turn this meant another huge portion of Irelands population was reliant on the potato. Between the period of 1780 and 1845 Irelands population had increased massively due to the prosperity and early marriage throughout Ireland during this time. An upsurge in population meant that competition of land was high and possession of a plot of land had become ‘life and death’. The subdivisions now meant that most small farms could only be used for subsistence farming reducing the ability to grow cash crops and as we would expect, Ireland tightened its grasp on its demand for potatoes as they were the only crop they could now grow efficiently on such a small plot of land. The potato had huge advantages for Irish peasants, it could be grown at ease and its ability to grown wasn't hindered by poor soil quality. But more importantly it was economical and provided the correct nutrition which the Irish people needed between the period of 1798-1852. As the population in Ireland rose due to the prosperity at the time, so did the amount of potatoes being grown. Just before the famine began two million acres of land were being used to provide potatoes for around three million people and this was clearly going to be a recipe for
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