Mudcat Café message #787447 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2053   Message #787447
Posted By: Teribus
19-Sep-02 - 10:08 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Fields of Athenry
Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
Ard Mhacha you claim that I say that .

"....the English were helpful and beneficial."

I quote what Cecil Woodham-Smith stated in her book relating what aid was sent to Ireland. I also repeat what difficulties that relief effort had to overcome. I also state my own opinion that with the benefit of hindsight things could have been done differently to mitigate the effects of the famine.

You then ask the following question:

"England, Scotland and Wales also had potato blight, how did they avoid the terrible plight of famine."

The Highlands of Scotland certainly didn't avoid the terrible plight of famine and that is covered very well in John Prebbles book about the Clearances. The rest of mainland Britain suffered to varying degrees, the north-east of England particularly. Two things that tended to mitigate the effects of the blight in mainland Britain were, the reforms in methods of farming during the agrarian revolution a hundred years before, coupled with a far more developed transport system (roads, railways, canals, harbours, etc.).

I note that you still do not acknowledge that the blight affected not only the British Isles but the whole of Europe. Take a look at immigration figures to the USA and the countries of origin from where those immigrants came - then research the reasons why. Scandinavia was particularly badly affected and resulted in mass emmigration of Norwegians and Swedes to the United States.

In your second post you contend:

"In the historiography of the Famine so-called revisionist historians have tended to minimise the role of British government responsibility, in contrast to earlier nationalist historians and a long line of Irish revolutionaires who approvingly recalled John Mitchell`s famous dictum"The almighty indeed sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine"."

Not surprising, really, as the nationalist historians and the "long line of Irish Revolutionaries" you mention had an axe to grind and a message to be got across - you are the one that later in your post refers to them as propagandists.

Surely if the British government were hell bent on genocide in Ireland they could have done it at a damn sight less cost to themselves (I refer you to my earlier mail on costs and contributions, and to Cecil Woodham-Smiths Book - and she in no way can be described as a revisionist historian).

The last paragraph of your last mail, I think is extremely well put and goes a long way to accurately explain how this period is viewed by many.