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The Potato Blight Essay

Now I will tell you something about the big famine through the potato blight. Ireland has been ruled by the British government since 1542 (fifteen forty-two ) . The british great land owners owned the total ground of Ireland. In former times, the potato was easy, fast and cheap to cultivate. Besides, the potato was the staple food(Grundnahrungsmittel ) of the irish population. The advantage was that only a small part of land was enough to feed an extended family with potatoes. The poor people who lived on the countryside were completely depend on the production of the potato.

The disadvantage of the monoculturally cultivation of potatoes was that the potato plants became very prone (anfallig ) to diseases. Through no change of cultivation ( Anbau ) the earth had no chance to recover. So it was very easy for any virus to spread out. 1845 : There were many failures of crops ( Ernteausfalle ) and famines ( Hungersnote ). There were fourteen potato- crops failure (Kartoffel- Missernten ) between 1816 and 1842. One of the reasons that the virus could attack was the eruption of the Vulcan Tambora because this influenced the global climate.

It caused continual rainfalls which destroyed the sandy, aerial and dry earth which is necessary for a good growth of the potato. Through the continual rainfall the causative organism (krankheitserreger ) dispersed everywhere. In eighteen forty -two an unknown Virus spread out in North America and destroyed the completely emblements (Ernte ). The activator was a mushroom called : Phytophthora infestans. This mushroom corroded ( zersetzte ) the potato to a black and bad smelling mass. The spurs distributed through the wind and they blossomed (gedeihen) perfectly in the cold and wet climate.

The two kinds of potatoes which were cultivated in Ireland, were very prone to the Potato- famine. The conditions were ideal for the special mushroom. The people could identify that the potato plants were attacked from the Virus through the colour change of the leaves. The society hoped that only some plants were attacked but the reality showed the complete emblements were destroyed. The result was a big famine. The population reduced of the half. Over one million of the irish people famished (verhungerte ). A huge rate of emigrants to America was the next result.


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