In the 1500s, Ireland was filled with frequent warfare and casualties between the English rulers and Irish natives.
This blight has killed us all..
With all the numerous fights across the country, food became scarce and farmers had trouble growing crops
No one knows for certain how the potato was introduced to Ireland, but it grew extremely popular as a common staple food and became the main source of food for the entire country.
In 1845, terror struck the Irish population. The year before, Canada experienced a strange disease on their potato crop. It had somehow found its way to Ireland, attacking their growing potatoes. This became known as a "potato blight", and between 500,000 and over 1 million people are estimated to have died because of it.
Many of the Irish fled to the United States of America on boats in desperation, and the ships used to travel there were referred to as "coffin ships". This is because so many people died on the way due to poor, crowded conditions.
I want to go home...
For the Irish emigrants that made it to the USA, it was still not a fortunate event. Many people were torn by the fact that they would not be able to see their hometown again. The USA still became the dream of freedom and ideal living compared to Ireland. The Irish referred to going to the Americas as going through the "Golden Door".