An Gorta Mór (the Great Famine): the manmade environmental disaster that changed the world.

Came across this interesting blog about Ireland and the Famine. Just like other countries, Ireland has been shaped by its past… and is continuing to do so.

SeanMunger.com

famine memorial

This is article number six in my Irish History Week series.

Beginning in 1845, a disaster of almost unimaginable proportions occurred in Ireland. Calling it a famine is a demonstration of the inadequacy of words to convey some things in history. With millions dead and the entire country broken and destitute, the Great Famine is nothing less than Ireland’s Shoah (Holocaust). Although the trigger for the disaster came from the natural environment, what the Irish call An Gorta Mór (the “Great Hunger”) was almost entirely man-made. It changed Ireland forever, and the rest of the world as well.

The story of the Great Famine doesn’t begin or end with potatoes. It really begins with land ownership. By the early 19th century Ireland had been conquered by Britons many times, sometimes by military force and at other times by economics or demographics. By the 1840s Ireland was Britain’s closest colony–its workshop, food…

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