Famine in Ireland – Death and Migrations

Irish Immigrants to the United States – Joe Biden President of the USA

Joe Biden

While Britain was flourishing with the industrial revolution since the 18th century, the economic conditions in Ireland were not so good. This might have been due to the fact that Ireland was strongly catholic while the rest of the UK was protestant and so people in Ireland felt they were neglected by the government in London.

Two-thirds of the population still depended on farming. The main crop was potato and that was the main food for the people there.In the middle of the 19th century, the potato crop failed. A devastating fungus that destroyed it fully.

Ireland’s prized potato crops died out by 1850. The Irish Famine caused the first mass migration of Irish people to the United States. The effects of the Irish Potato Famine continued to spur on Irish immigration well into the 20th century.

Famine and Hunger

Starvation and disease claimed around a million lives during 1845-1850, which lead to almost twice that number emigrating to other countries, including a majority into the United States. The lack of industry and overall poverty that remained constant in the region brought many impoverished Catholic farmers and laborers into the U.S.

People Leaving Ireland

Many people arrived in the UK as well and they worked in railways. By 1861 there were large populations of Irish people in cities such as London, Liverpool, Manchester, and Glasgow.

Working in railways in England

In the USA, Irish people work hard and at least 22 presidents of the United States have some Irish ancestral origins.
The last Democratic President Barack Obama and the 2020 President of the Joe Biden too have Irish links.

President Barack Obama

What do these tell us, the immigrants? When the bridges behind us are burned out, there is NO way back. The ONLY way is forward.
In the guide, you downloaded (please get it, if you didn’t do so), we have discussed Benjamin Disraeli. Son of Jewish refugee parents from Italy. He became the Prime Minister of the UK during the Victorian era.

Benjamin Disraeli

It was an incredible feat at that time. Why?
The USA is a country of immigrants while the UK is a country of its natives! Winning the trust of the natives in the 19th century was remarkable.
On the other hand, it tells us of the opportunity this nation offers to a determined person.
He believed in himself.