Lecture: The Famine in Ireland 1845 - 1852

In the past two centuries no event has shaped the Ireland of today more than the famine of 1845 - 1852. No event stirs the emotions of Irish people more. No other event demonstrates so clearly the failure of British colonial policy in Ireland.

Famine image01The famine was the direct result of policies that began with the destruction of Gaelic Ireland in the period 1540 to 1603. This was followed by the Cromwellian settlement of the 1650's, the military defeat of Catholic Ireland in the 1690's, and the subsequent imposition of Penal Laws for the suppression of the Gaelic people of Ireland. After three hundred years of conquest and destruction a huge number of Irish people were reduced to destitution, poverty, illiteracy, and were made dependent on the potato by government policy and landlord greed.

This course will focus on the events that resulted in the worst ever famine in Ireland, the subsequent death of over one million people, and the mass migration of Irish people. It will examine the famine years in detail to clarify the reasons why people died of starvation and disease while the food they produced was taken out of Ireland under armed guard. It will deal decisively with any notion that the Irish people brought this upon themselves or that it was God's will.

Cultural Center of Cape Cod
Wednesdays July 11, 18, 25, August 1: 7:15 to 8:15
To enroll on line log in to http://www.cultural-center.org/product/virtual-historic-tour-of-ireland/