Irish Potato Famine

Irish Potato Famine In the mid-1840s the Irish potato crop was struck by the potato blight, a plant disease that wiped out the crop.  Famine ensued in Ireland, hard times were felt in England, and a general economic recession followed on the Continent, which would spark the Revolutions of 1848.  In many ways, the Great Famine was the result of centuries-long English policies in Ireland that had resulted in an impoverished peasantry wholly dependent upon one food crop, the potato.  The British government barely intervened, leaving the Irish to their fate and to what private charity could provide, which was precious little.  Millions perished and millions more emigrated to England and the United States.  For more information on the Great Famine, explore these websites:  Great Famine, Encyclopedia Britannica  (Links to an external site.) , The Irish Famine   (Links to an external site.) Download and read these primary sources: For this assignment, you will be reading two primary sources for your analysis paper, they can be found in this document:  Irish Potato Famine  In your paper, you may discuss one source, answering/addressing the questions below and then discuss the next, or you may compare and contrast the two within the body of the paper, whichever you prefer. While reading, think like an historian: When was this source created?  If the source is not dated, can you use any contextual clues to make an educated guess? Who created it?  If no individual’s name is apparent, can you guess their position within society? What was the original purpose of this source?  Why was it created and what was its intent? Who is the intended audience of the source?  How does this influence the way information is presented? Is there anyone, besides the author, who is represented in the source?  What can you learn about them? How has the meaning of the source changed over time? How might a historian use this source as a piece of evidence?  What research questions might it help to answer?  What story might you tell using this source? Include the following information in a 500-750 word paper: Author’s purpose and message:   How does he/she communicate that?  Does he/she use facts, specific details, or emotionally charged words to get the message across? Author’s argument:   Are you, the reader, persuaded by his/her argument?  Does he/she provide reliable information to persuade his/her audience? Author’s background:  Does his/her background influence what he/she says or how he/she says it?  Does it tell you about the actions and/or beliefs of the upper class or of ordinary people?   Whose perspective is this primary source written from? Historical questions:  Can any be answered from this primary source?  Which historical questions cannot be answered from this primary source? Scholarly Writing: Analyze:  explain the evidence for your reader; tell the reader why the evidence is important, what it means, or how it connects to historical events Synthesize:  read and think critically; present new ideas based on interpretations of evidence or arguments; connect ideas across paragraphs or sections to create a narrative whole Evaluate: judge the value of material based on definite criteria; determine how credible the source is and what it tells you about the given historical moment Include citations/references:  Name of primary source(s)  Author’s name Citations of other sources (if used)  Page or paragraph numbers Properly formatted reference page, MLA, APA, or Chicago format, whichever you prefer.

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