Irish Nationalism
Eireann go brach!
Mrs. Kempton & Mr. Patten
Mepham High School
Global History II
Facts about Ireland

Ireland (Eire)
Capital: Dublin
Major Languages: Gaelic
and English
Population: 3,969,558
Area: 27,135 sq mi (70,280
sq. km) half the size of Arkansas
Type of Government:
Republic
Agricultural Products:
turnips, barley,
potatoes, sugar beets,
wheat,
livestock, dairy goods
Leading Export:
Machinery
Languages
Gaelic
 Ireland has a rich literary
history that reaches back
more than two thousand
years. The Irish kept these
works alive by passing
them down orally from
generation to generation.
 The use of Gaelic declined
after British conquest in the
1600s. The Great Famine
threatened to silence their
voices through death and
emigration. Yet Gaelic—a
triumph of Irish culture—
survived the destruction.
Land Use and Resources
History of Conflict
 The British ruled Ireland since 1100s.
 Since then there has always been tension
between Ireland and England. Why?
 High Rent to English lords
 High Taxes
 Religious conflicts (Irish are Catholic vs. English are
Protestant)
 Nationalism inspired the Irish to revolt because
of the desire for self-determination.
The Potato
Peasants learned that
potatoes produced more food
per acre than other food
crops. Plus they provided a
healthy, easy-to-grow food.
Finally, when armies marched
through the Irish countryside,
they did not destroy potato
crops-it took too long to dig up
the potato hills.
A peasant family preparing to eat a
dinner of boiled potatoes
Pictorial Times
February 28, 1846
With better diets, the
population grew to more than
eight million by the early
1840s.
The Famine
Irish Peasant Taking Potatoes to Market
The Pictorial Times
February 28, 1846
However, in 1845 a disease started
killing potato crops. A few days after
farmers dug up potato hills, the
potato piles started to rot, turning into
mounds of dark smelly slime. The
disease spread far and wide,
infecting potato fields throughout
Ireland.
Because potatoes formed the basis of
the Irish diet, people began to starve
or die of fever from weak health.
Prices of other food items, like grains,
shot up. The already poor farmers,
who now lacked income from the sale
of potatoes, could not even afford to
buy corn. Landlords evicted them
from their homes.
The Irish Potato Famine, or Great
Famine, lasted for about five years.
About 1,100,000 people died of
famine-related causes.
The Irish Famine
 Source 1
Illustrated London News, Oct. 18, 1845
THE POTATO DISEASE…. Accounts received from
different parts of Ireland show that the disease in the
potato crop is extending far and wide, and causing
great alarm amongst the peasantry. Letters from
resident landlords feelingly describe the misery and . . .
urge the . . . necessity of speedy intervention on the
part of the Government. . . . Mr. John Chester, . . . in a
letter to the Dublin Evening Post, states that he has a
field of twenty acres of potatoes, which . . . had been
perfectly dry and sound, when they were attacked by
the blight, and three-fourths of them are so diseased
and rotten that pigs decline to eat them.
The Irish Famine
After the Ejectment
Illustrated London News
December 16, 1848
 Illustrated London News, Dec.
16, 1848
EVICTIONS OF
PEASANTRY IN IRELAND. . .
Each succeeding day
witnesses . . . the fearful
system of wholesale
ejectment, of which we daily
hear, and which we daily
behold. . . . Whole districts
are cleared. . . . The ditch
side, the dripping rain, and
the cold sleet are the covering
of the wretched outcast the
moment the cabin is tumbled
over him; for who dare give
him shelter or protection from
"the pelting of the pitiless
storm?"
The Struggle for Self-Rule
 The Prime Minister of England (Gladstone)
makes some reforms in Ireland.
 Ends taxes to the Anglican Church
 Protection against unfair rents
 In 1919, civil war breaks out between the Irish
Republican Army and the British.
 Southern Ireland becomes independent in
1922.
 Northern Ireland still remains under British
control and even today there still remains
tension.
An Irish Blessing
May you always have work for your hands to
do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to
cheer you.
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Irish Nationalism