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People from County Wicklow Ireland in EnglandBetween 1841 and 1851, Ireland lost 2 million of it people. An estimated one million of these people left the country while the other million died. Of the one million Irish inhabitants who emigrated during this decade, most went to Canada, England and the United States.
It's a common misconception that the mass exodus that took place in Ireland during the first half of the l9th century was the result of the potato blight of 1845, but the famine was actually the last in a series of misfortunes that Ireland had to endure. Before the Great Famine, the Irish were already feeling the pressure of rising rents and a slow job market. There was little manufacturing in Ireland and what their was was concentrated in Dublin and Belfast. The agricultural industry was growing but modern machinery was starting to reduce the amount of manual labor needed. Until the 17th century the Irish had lived under the rule of a small minority of wealthy landowners. When Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland in the mid-17th century, those landowners who would not give up Catholicism saw their property confiscated and then given to the English. By 1661 about 40% of Ireland was owned by England. Many Irish peasants-stayed on as tenant farmers, working the land and paying rent on the small plots of land where they lived and grew their own food. But as the growing of crops became less profitable, many landowners began to graze sheep and cattle for the English market, taking back the land from the Irish poor. This led to a series of evictions where tenant farmers were forced off the land that had sustained them. The lucky tenant farmers who weren't evicted found there was less land available to them, and these shrinking plots were being shared by more and more occupants. This diminishing land contributed much to Ireland's eventual reliance on the potato during the late 18th century. The amount of land needed to grow potatoes could feed more people than the same amount of land used to grow something else. By 1845 when the blight hit approximately 3 million Irish consumed almost nothing but potatoes.
1851 England Census People from Wicklow Ireland.
|Wicklow County Ireland ~ The Garden Of Ireland.|
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