The Hungry Forties was a period of food crisis as a result of potato blight which struck Northern Europe in the early up to mid 1840s, when British experienced an economic depression affecting poor people and also called “European Potato Failure.” Whereas the crisis led to so much humanity and anguish across the affected areas, the most affected areas were the Ireland and Scottish Highlands.
This crisis was as a result of serious slump in trade, causing a steep in employment, followed by low harvest. There was bad harvest for two consecutive years and rapid population increase. The situation was also made further worse by the “Corn Laws” that kept price of bread at its highest (Cobden, 72). Later in 1945, potato blight appeared in Scotland and England, then spreading to Ireland.
The effect that this crisis caused to Ireland can not be compared to other parts that were also affected because it led to demise of a million and others refugees. Other parts that were also affected were France that recorded a death toll of more than ten thousands due to starvation. Apart from death, people suffered from famine, diseases, and other forms of suffering. Population decline were also notable in areas such as Netherlands, Prussia, and Flanders (Fred, 178).
Finally, it is evident that the “Hungry Forties” affected millions of people and caused death and famine to most of the poor people in Scottish Highlands and other parts (Redford, 124). Generally, the global consequence of this crisis led to the creation of substantial Scottish and Irish Diasporas.
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- Fall of the Roman Empire