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“in Considering the Process of Change in Relations Between Ireland and Great Britain in the Years 1815-1922, How Far Can the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1851) Be Seen as a Key Turning Point?”

  • Date Submitted: 12/01/2014 07:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.4 
  • Words: 2020
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Over the years 1815-1922, the process of change in relation between Ireland and Great Britain can be due to a variety of events. One could argue the Irish Potato Famine was the key turning point which was brought on by a blight which destroyed the potatoes and crops which were Ireland’s main source of food. However, over the period of time, other events also influenced the change in relations, including: Catholic Emancipation, Home Rule Bill and the Easter Rising. All four, including the Potato Famine, directly changed Britain and Ireland’s broken relationship, starting from Wolfe Tone’s rising in 1798; but one could argue Catholic Emancipation was the key turning point. As, although the Irish Potato Famine did change Ireland’s relation to Britain to a more hostile attitude due to the lack of help from Britain, the Catholic Emancipation Act was a key turning point in their relations as it was the first time Ireland had gotten their politics to be a key feature in the House of Commons.
The events that happened during the potato famine weakened relations with Great Britain as the people of Ireland did not think Britain done as much as it should have and believed “It was more important to sustain the sacred principle of laissez-faire economics than it was to save lives.”   The laissez-faire attitude portrayed by the British, meant that they did not help Ireland to maybe the potential they could have done, as “It became a fixed idea in Whig circles that Ireland must be made to learn from this disaster.”   This hands off approach where the British believed the problem would be solved naturally by itself deterated the relationship with Ireland; Ireland believed Britain should be doing more to help as they were now part of the Union, which “meant that at the time of the famine, the parliament in Westminster had ultimate responsibility for relief policies in Ireland.”   Peel, a Tory priminster, did try and introduce some efforts to help Ireland, he imported £100,000 of...


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