Famine and diaspora in the Emerald Isle: An Gorta Móhr: The Irish Potato Famine and its impact on Irish immigration

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Southern New Hampshire University
Throughout the history of Ireland, England, and the United States there have been many differing opinions about the causes, and yet more importantly, the effects of the An Gorta Móhr, also known as the Great Hunger or the Great Famine. The Irish potato famine played a significant role in the migration patterns from Ireland to the United States, however, much of the research has solely focused on the men in these migration patterns. The women involved in these migration patterns, long neglected and overlooked by historians, were equally important to the history of the famine and subsequent migration patterns from Ireland to the United States. The men, women, and children impacted by the Irish potato famine experienced excruciating heartache and loss, as well as extreme conditions and deprivation. Yet, through it all, those who were able to migrate to the United States contributed to the growth of the Irish population and protected Irish culture. Even after their arrival, these men and women endured hardship and faced discrimination, yet they became a unique part of the United States by contributing to the overall growth, development, and culture of the Irish in America. This project will discuss the importance of studying the impacts of the Irish potato famine on the people of Ireland, particularly the women and children who were profoundly impacted yet often unstudied throughout history. The potato famine had profound effects on the lives of the Irish peoples which subsequently impacted life in Ireland, migration patterns, settlement patterns, and life in the new country to which people migrated. The use of primary sources such as artist renderings and journal entries provided a wealth of information that had previously been understudied, while the use of secondary sources provided details about background, historiographical trends and more. Both of which were instrumental in the completion of this project. (Author abstract)