Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850 Setting & Symbolism

Susan Campbell Bartoletti
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Boyne River

Between 1169 and 1530, England tried, repeatedly, to conquer Ireland. In 1690 Protestant King William of Orange defeated the Irish at a bloody Battle on this river. King William and his Parliament passed draconian "Penal Laws" which contained clauses precluding the Irish from owning firearms and giving their children a Catholic education. By 1800, however, Ireland was 80 percent Catholic.

London, England

From inside their London offices, the British Prime Minister, his advisors, and Parliament passed the laws which turned the potato blight into the potato famine.

Fergus River

After the famine began, the merchants raised prices because of the local need or demand for food. The British military escorted ships loaded with grain and livestock down the Fergus River for export to London and other foreign markets. Many emigrants, before sailing away, expressed astonishment at the amount of food they saw in the port cities.

The Potato

The potato was...

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This section contains 1,487 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850 Study Guide
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