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The Great Hunger: The Irish Potato Famine

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The Great Hunger: The Irish Potato Famine

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, July 18, 2024 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2330
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Engraving of emigrants leaving Ireland by Henry Doyle, 1868

The potato famine of 1845–1849, known in the Irish language as "the great hunger," led to the death of a million people and the emigration of a million more, reducing the population of Ireland by roughly one quarter.

Historian Jennifer Paxton explores the origins of the famine in the difficult economic and political circumstances of Ireland in the early 19th century, when many people in the countryside were entirely dependent on the potato for subsistence.

She examines the controversy over the degree to which the British government can be held responsible for the disaster and the impact of the famine on the Irish landscape and culture, focusing also on the substantial Irish diaspora that spread resentment of British rule to North America and beyond. She concludes with a look at the legacy of the famine in Ireland and around the world today.

Paxton is the director of the university honors program, associate dean of undergraduate studies, and an associate clinical professor in the department of history at The Catholic University of America.

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