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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » The Irish Potato Famine (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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landmark
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Quote:
It was simply economic thinking at that time.

It was the economic thinking of the 1%. Screw the other 99% as usual. But you might remember that in 1848 in particular in Europe there were lots of *other* economic and political ideas.
Destiny
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Laissez-faire may have been the policy at the time of the famine, but it was not in the years when Catholic lands were taken from them and gifted to nobles.

And laissez-faire was then selective, as it usually is still. The doctrine of free trade didn't stop the British keeping tariffs on grains - a policy which kept the price of bread artificially high in Britain and Ireland until it was repealed during the famine. And that tariff was designed to protect the incomes of the exporting mostly absentee landlords of Ireland.
TonyB2009
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All true, Destiny. But nothing to do with your initial anti-British post. British policy during the famine was not anti Irish or anti Catholic. It was their policy applied on us in exactly the same way it was applied on their own subjects. And to characterise the Irish famine as the responsibility of the British was nonsense.
critter
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We had Mongolian for dinner. The celebration of St. Patrick's death is also my fiancée's birthday Smile
There were no potatoes Smile
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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motown
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On Mar 17, 2014, TonyB2009 wrote:
True. British policy contributed to the over dependence on the potato. But it was neither an anti Irish nor an anti Catholic policy. It was simply economic thinking at that time.

Many cultures were dependent on one food. Some still are. That does not make the British responsible for the famine.
and it's happening again. The dependence on fewer and fewer crops.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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Dannydoyle
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So I am in Puerto Vallarta doing my show and am approached by a man. Asks if I am Danny Doyle and I say yes. Asking if I am from Ireland and I say no. But goes on to explain where my family is from. Happened twice in 3 weeks. I found it odd ad Doyle is basically as common as Smith in Ireland. As if somehow I would know all of them. I explained I was an American. This means my forefathers were on thrown out of every other self respecting country on the planet!

Reminded me of going to NIGH. A university with tens of thousands of students. People constantly asking if I knew this one or that one. People are funny.

But we did having potatoes in the Caféteria. We did study the famine.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Destiny
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Tony,

I am not anti British. 3/4 of my ancestry is British - the British have achieved amazing things. They've also done wrong - which makes them much the same as everyone else. The famine would not have happened but for the anti Catholic land laws the British imposed earlier. That those laws had been repealed makes no difference - the damage had been done, and most of the land was still owned by Protestants - and a lot by absentee landlords, who had seats in parliament.

The British economic policy of laissez-faire justifies nothing because the government did not 'leave it alone' when it suited them otherwise eg: the corn laws protecting the profits of those same absentee landlords. If they could be hands on to make themselves rich, they could have been hands on to help the poor.

And as to applying policy exactly the same to their own subjects as they did to the Irish, there was nowhere near the disaster in England as in Ireland - Victoria and her ministers might have been swimming the channel to France if the same situation had existed closer to London. And it is no justification anyway. I personally cannot understand how the mistreatment of their own citizens could justify the mistreatment of those they'd colonised.
TonyB2009
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On Mar 18, 2014, Destiny wrote:
The famine would not have happened but for the anti Catholic land laws the British imposed earlier.

Complete ********. Famines happened throughout the UK, Ireland, and Europe at several points from 1600 to the late 1800s. Economic factors made several cultures dependent on a single food source. Our crop failed. That is what caused the famine. The British response did not help much, but it did not cause the famine. I don't know where you did your research, but it has left you with a deeply flawed version both of Irish history and famine history.

The British government acted to help the rich, as all governments do. The poor suffered, as the poor do in every crisis. It was neither anti-Irish nor anti-Catholic.
mastermindreader
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Obviously the British didn't create the blight that caused the crop to fail. The issues are the manner in which they responded to the resulting famine and to what extent their actions or inaction exacerbated the situation.
Destiny
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I can't believe the point is being missed that the British government created the subsistence on one crop - till just a few decades before the famine the Irish ate a much more varied diet - it was when they were denied land and forced onto small unproductive plots that would only grow the Lumper that the subsistence on that one food began - and one doesn't have to research too far to discover that.

Anyway - life is too short to argue over long dead famines - and I have a wonderful recipe for potato salad I might go and put to good use.
mastermindreader
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Yes. Those are exactly the actions I was referring to. Forcing the Irish to rely on one source of food certainly maximized the impact of the subsequent blight and famine.
landmark
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Brits vs. Irish:
Capitalist Genocide or Religious Persecution?
You're both right!
http://screen.yahoo.com/shimmer-floor-wax-000000185.html
TonyB2009
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The Irish pesantry had large families and the population of the country doubled in the forty years before the famine. Yet we remained an agrarian society. That is what created the over reliance on the potato.

Destiny, you were badly misinformed. Try checking some sources within Ireland, where we know what happened.
critter
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If simply living in a country made one the foremost expert on its history we may not have Columbus Day here.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
TonyB2009
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Critter, I am not claiming that living in Ireland makes me an expert. Far from it. But the best source material for research remains here. That is what I said. I wouldn't research the history of America in Mongolia.

I am calling out Destiny on a number of inaccuracies about Irish history, including the history of the famine. It began with the very first statement, that the British conquered Ireland in 1172. Wrong. They were invited over to help with a local dispute in 1169, and the king visited in 1172. It took another hundred years to gain control over half the country, and the conquest was not accomplished until the late 1600s. For much of the intervening time Ireland was virtually self-governed, with the British in absence. Some conquest.

The inaccuracies continued from there. The famine was a terrible tragedy. The population of Ireland was almost halved. A million died of starvation. It left a deep scar, and I think it only fair that it be remembered accurately.
tommy
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The English are useful idiots. We are controlled by the International Extraordinary Characters of the City of London. We were just following orders.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
motown
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Critter,

Waiting to hear your take on the story. I'm guessing Tony knows a hell of a lot more.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
Dannydoyle
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To be fair you do not have to actually be IN the country to have the source material. I mean with the internet and all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Destiny
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Tony,

I will certainly give that 1172 was more accurately the beginning of English rule, rather than a conquest, but when you say Henry II 'visited', he was accompanied on that visit by a rather large fleet, and the prior invitation to help with a local dispute has plenty of modern parallels with more powerful countries using the excuse that they were invited in to eventually expand their dominion. That English dominion over Ireland was ratified in 1172 by Pope Alexander III and the Pope was the recognised final arbiter of such matters at the time.

Where I will not give is on the idea that the famine was a natural occurrence caused by the reliance on one crop, because that reliance was a direct and recent result of British law.

Nor do I see that the English should be absolved from their poor response because they were similarly negligent of their own much smaller famine. The excuse that it was their economic policy at the time, not to have an economic policy, doesn't hold up. They were willing to intervene in the economy to protect the profits of rich people ie: the corn laws.

So far as research goes, I can read the Irish and English papers of the time, and what was said in Parliament, right here in Australia by virtue of the internet.
critter
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On Mar 18, 2014, motown wrote:
Critter,

Waiting to hear your take on the story. I'm guessing Tony knows a hell of a lot more.


Than me? Almost certainly. Than Destiny? Maybe, maybe not.

I don't have a take on the story, was only pointing out an obvious logical flaw.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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