Why did the Irish immigrate to the United States during the 1840s and 1850s?

England invaded Ireland during the mid-1840s, displacing the Irish population.

They fled a famine caused by severe overpopulation and a devastating blight on the potato crop.

The expansion of the industrial revolution displaced Irish workers.

Anti-Catholic violence forced the Irish to flee their homeland.

None of those is correct. #2 is half right, in that they did flee a famine, and a blight did devastate the potato crop. But during this period, Ireland produced more than enough other food to feed its entire population. The famine was caused not by the potato blight, but by the fact that the food that was produced was shipped to England.

6 thoughts on “Why did the Irish immigrate to the United States during the 1840s and 1850s?

  1. America was considered a place of great wealth and prosperity. Europeans were very unhappy with their living conditions and with the politics in their country so they decided to emigrate.
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  2. did yu just answer yurr own question?

    we just learned about this before we left for spring break. the irish potato crop was distoried blah blah. than in america there ended up being more irish immigrants at one point than in ireland itself at one point.. our teacher told us that america was opened to all sorts of immigrants to increase the population& increase expantions & decrease risk of inflation & congress wanted it so they cld do maifest destiny or whatever its call(the idea tht america shld spread over the entire continet to the pacific ocean.)(tht proably wasnt the rite word at all) but dont trust what my teacher says.. he smokes pot haha
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  3. You pretty well answered your own question though the English invasion was sometime before the 1840s. Under Elizabeth 1′s rule, Essex tried to conquer Ireland and did poorly. Cromwell did a better job and William virtually finished it off.
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  4. Famine. The potato crop failed twice in that period. Of Ireland’s eight million population, one million starved and another million emigrated to avoid starving. The two main destinations were American and English industrial cities, where a regular income could be had. Quebec and Montreal were other popular destinations.
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  5. None of those is correct. #2 is half right, in that they did flee a famine, and a blight did devastate the potato crop. But during this period, Ireland produced more than enough other food to feed its entire population. The famine was caused not by the potato blight, but by the fact that the food that was produced was shipped to England.
    References :

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