Potato Famine

Potato Famine

Storyboard Text

  • In the 1500's, Ireland was torn about by constant warfare between Irish citizens and English rulers.
  • Because of this farmers were not able to grow enough food to feed themselves and their families.
  • However in 1600, Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potato. Word of the potato spread quickly and farmers began to farm it. The potato became the main food source for many people in Ireland.
  • But in 1845 a disease spread through potato crops, causing one third to half of the crops to be destroyed. The strange disease became known as the "potato blight".
  • The blight caused a famine in Ireland, it is estimated that between five hundred thousand to one million people died from hunger and disease.
  • The famine caused many people to emigrate to other countries especially America to get a fresh start. Ships from Liverpool would take Irish emigrants to America. However the ships were dirty, full of diseases and crowded. Because of this many people who left, died on board the "coffin ships" as they were called, because of the horrible conditions. But the people who did make it to Ireland wrote back home telling others to follow them to America.
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