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tv   Charity Efforts for the Irish Great Famine  CSPAN  April 30, 2017 12:35pm-2:00pm EDT

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repeal some of those rules. >> from the inception of the internet until these rules were passed from the internet was free and open. there was not a problem. as the chairman said, there was no dystopian controlled internet with anybody interfering with the ability to post content or look at the content of their choice. >> watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two. >> up next, historians describe the great famine in ireland during the mid-19th century. discuss how people across the globe contributed to relief efforts. they focus on a story of a group of bostonians who build a ship called the jamestown with supplies. the american historical society but massachusetts most of this
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event. >> you may have noticed this event originally called for our here.r bill fowler to be he is my predecessor at the historical society, which many of you already know. he is a distinguished repressor of history at northeastern -- professor of history at northeastern. we realized that such a fundamental story of the irish in boston would benefit from additional perspectives. he suggested, i will give him credit, this conversation would have more depth if we invited others, leading subject experts on the irish famine in the american response. joinedpleased bill is tonight by catherine shannon, the guest historian of exhibition at westfield state
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university. ,e have christine can nearly author and founding director of ireland's great hunger institute at quinnipiac university. --ase welcome me in joining join me in welcoming, l christine, and kathleen. >> thank you very much. thank you to all of your staff and trustees for hosting this exhibit. >> louder. >> louder, ok. >> close to the microphone. >> is this better? ok. it is a pleasure to the on a panel with bill and christine, who are eminent historians in their own right. i hope to provide the people tonight with some contextual background to explain why the failure of the irish potato crop
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in the 1840's triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in 19th-century european history and drastically altered their social and demographic structure for more than a century. this crisis is not unknown in early modern irish history. a succession of poor harvests in the early 1700s was a factor in migration of presbyterians to boston in the early 18th century. some of these people formed the inritable irish society 1737. withs rain failures along religious discrimination that were the push factors. at the end of the 18th century, the irish population began to expand rapidly. thats in response to this
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the potato introduced to the island more than a century earlier became an every increasing portion of the diet. their climate was especially suitable to cultivation. the fact that one acre of potatoes and the milk of one cow was sufficient to feed an entire family for one year meant the rapid demographic expansion and extremely limited land ownership available to the 80% majority catholic population could be managed. the potato culture was also a boon to the protestant who had a landowners steady supply of cheap labor for grain cultivation. they paid principally by providing small plots of land suitable for potato cultivation
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rather than with cash wages. as the population grew, even one acre rented plots were subdivided into units of about a quarter acre in many areas in the south and west. in these areas, cash was not used in the daily economic activities through the famine period. if tenant farmers had sufficient land to grow grain, they chose to export it in order to pay rent to their landlords, rents which cap escalating -- kept escalating steadily in the first half of the 19th century. ,fter the napoleonic wars demand for irish grain declined, and irish landowners began to convert their land into grazing for cattle, which required little labor and brought great
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profits. the english demand for meat and cattle byproducts escalated with rapid industrialization. this caused a growing trend of unemployment and underemployment for the 4.7 million landless irish laborers who by the 1840's were totally dependent on the potato and a little buttermilk for 90% of their daily sustenance. consumedge adult male between 12 and 14 pounds of potatoes daily. famine, it's the .2 metric tons of potatoes were consumed by the irish -- 6.2 metric tons of potatoes consumed by the irish people. two thirds of this by the landless laborers at the bottom of the economic ladder. you can see how rapidly the irish population was rising at this time compared to the
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european population. european population is the blue line. the irish is the green line. you see a great difference in the direction of the demographic chart in the 1840's. animal consumption and feed potatoes consumed about 7.4 metric tons annually. although the potato diet was boring, it provided sufficient nutritional diet that made irish males among the tallest and ruraliest of the european populace. there was cheap fuel for cooking and heat so that the lack of cash wages partially -- their property. potatoal reliance on the
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root to be disastrous when the fungus -- it, a was have trouble with this word. hit ireland in september, 1845, having originated in mexico, going to europe, england, and eventually ireland. this increasing population povertyn, increasing did begin to create pressures for immigration to america. you see mr. in the early decades of the 19th century -- see in this chart in the early decades of the 19th century that boston got some of its most famous irish immigrants, people like patrick donahue, andrew carnegie
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. warning signs of the very delicate balance between potatoes and population had come earlier when potato and grain failures caused food shortages at least six times before 1845. subsequent harvests and government relief mitigated extensive loss of life during these years. the devon commission of 1843 provided ample and graphic warnings of the potential disaster that awaited ireland because of her potato monoculture, widespread poverty, and the indifference of a majority of her absentee landlords who did little to modernize their estates and left
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supervision to often greedy middlemen. the tory politician benjamin israeli summed up the situation and simply when he said, absentee aristocracy and ailing thech in addition to weakest executive in the world. travel to ireland in the pre-famine years commented on these deplorable conditions. frenchman.e beaumont -- gustave beaumont wrote, it terrifies you. is intent of that poverty this slide with the darkest colors being the areas with the worst difficulty with poverty.
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the eastern areas a little less severe. the western areas very much affected. despite the extent of government information about the depth of their structural economic problems, the political will to address them was missing. irishjority of the 105 legislatures were protestant landlords, the very class that benefited from the status quo. atholic sentiments were widespread in the political leadership. these sentiments were exacerbated by daniel o'connell's success in winning catholic emancipation, widespread protests in the 1830's, and the growing popularity of his movement for repeal of the act of union in the early 1840's.
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british perceptions of the irish violent,aneously devious, lazy, ignorant, and almost subhuman were reflected in the increasingly influential popular media, as these images earlyunch magazine in the 1840's indicate. playing on mary shelley's story of frankenstein, we see an irish frankenstein threatening the social order. o'connell one, daniel as a huge potato. i guess it is something like you are what you eat. in essence, the poverty and irishr that characterized living conditions was more or less racialized and seeing as a natural consequence of irish national character.
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here is another one that indicates this kind of racial is , this-- racialization time with women. significant legislation that would have benefited ireland's economic under sector was passed by the parliament in the pre-famine decades. one piece of fish legislation that did try to tackle widespread poverty and reform the alleged deficiencies in the irish national character was the poor law act of 1838. based on their commission from five years earlier, they divided districtsy into 130 where they would provide work for the most destitute poor. givenr relief and aid
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outside the workhouse was severely restricted. the vegemite pain criteria was criteria sodmission only the absolute destitute would qualify for entrance. husbands were separated from their wives, and children from their parents. a p in a different, including stone breaking and minimal socialization were rewards. no wonder the poor irish resorted to the workhouse only in absolute desperation once the famine began. most of the workhouse is were already built. it did not take long before the national capacity of 100,000 inmates was reached and overcrowding took hold, especially in the south and west.
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-- was a notable example, whereby january 1847, the work as designed for 800 inmates 1160 inmates, one third of the work l with fever. -- were ill with fever. 121 people shared 40 beds. in mid-september, the guardian chronicle announced that the disease had struck ireland again. it became evident that one third to one half of the potato crop had been lost. -- who had private experience dealing with irish subsistence crisis had some doubts about the loss, citing the irish tendency to exaggerate.
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by november, when reports confirmed the seriousness of the situation, he accepted that british government action was essential to prevent widespread starvation. e drew on earlier precedents to implement a temporary public works program that would provide employment through august 1846 and appointed an experienced army officer to head a relief commission. he secretly purchased a large quantity of american indian corn for government storage facilities as a lever to keep commercial put prices low. distribution was in vision only as a last resort. his program was generally deemed
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an adequate response to the situation, and there was no selected increase in mortality during the first year of the famine. ,s this chart shows difficulties in the crop production of potatoes over the next six years continued. acreage planted got less and less as time went on. having done this, he turned over famine administration to the permanent head of the treasury, sir charles, so he could devote his clinical energies to repealing the corn laws that had protected british agricultural interests from foreign competition for three decades. whigs intod in the
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government in 1846. within a short time, the complacent belief that disaster in ireland had been averted was completely smashed by news of the second failure of approximately 90% of the 1846 potato crop. potatoes summer, the used for human consumption and animal consumption were completely exhausted. by october, the first reports of starvation appeared in newspapers. this was the second of six successive crop failures with a 50% 1848,e in 1847, and localized failures up to 1852. no effective remedy for the fungus was found until the
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1890's. the response of the whig government to the second failure and those thereafter proved to be inadequate though not insensitive to the misery of the irish people. they began to dismantle the limited relief program to retain support of cabinet colleagues. they were fervent apostles of the rigid economic orthodoxy of limited and cheap government and noninterference in market forces. the top treasury servant and convinced believer in laissez-faire, free market economic theory gained influence in the government and soon had dominant control over the famine policy and administration. although the price of potatoes through december
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1846, he ordered that government food supplies be sold at market prices rather than at cost. even temporary extension of outdoor relief under the poor law was riveted, which caused massive overcrowding in the union workhouses i referred to earlier. the new wave of public works program that began in october 1846 was to be financed totally by the irish taxpayer. a small amount of funds attached to peel's earlier program were limited. they were riddled with inefficiency and corruption. despite a work schedule of 12 hours, six days work, the wages of the million worked on these programs were insufficient to provide funds to feed the average family, but alone purchase turf, pay rent or
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clothing. clad malnourished and ill died during the harsh winter of 1847, including the father of rossa who became the mastermind of the london bombing campaign in the 1880's. despite the fact that over one million people were dependent on the wages of these public works and the total failure of the 1846 potato crop, the way the government-- whig decided to wind down the public works program and replace it with a less-expensive ram of run soup government kitches.
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the cost savings was approximately 3.3 million pounds. that was music to the whig government that was assessed that the british taxpayer should not pay to leave irish -- to rel ieve irish poverty. this was also based on belief the directmine was stroke of an all wise providence. the famine crisis consisted of a toven sent opportunity revise irish agriculture on free-market lines. this caused all irish classes, including the landlord, to make poor mouth. he said, the real evil with which we have to content is not the physical evil of the famine,
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but the moral evil of the selfish and turbulent character of the irish people. bosses were in agreement with his thinking. on this basis, the soup kitchen program which had become fully operational in june and was feeding 3 million people was closed down in late august, 1847. this on the grounds that the famine was over. this was the biggest alternative fact of 1847. there was a grain of truth in john mitchell's assertion that ireland was killed by political economy. it was devotion to these economic orthodoxy's that prevented the imposition of a foodstuffs, arish in 1782hat was followed
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and 1783 when ireland's domestic legislature was faced with severe shortages and potential famine. you can see on this chart that in 1846 in 1847, despite the crisis, there were still some exports of grain leaving ireland. of imported amount grain coming in, and also 1848. another area where something could have been done was to ban the distilling of grain-based
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products. no ban was applied. have these steps taken, perhaps the total mortality could have been mitigated. in late 1846 and 1847, the press and media reported extensively on the rising number of deaths from starvation, fever disease and homelessness. accounts, an these liberal leaning northern paper proclaimed, death is found in every paragraph, desolation in every district. whole families down in fever. the london times carried many graphic accounts.
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which sent their reporter, who to verify the severity of the crisis there. mahoney's sketches were subtle. the sketches -- the awful scene of two children scratching the soil looking for food, a dying man in his cottage surrounded by famine ravaged children. the local death toll was so elaborate usually irish with -- irish rituals.
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unceremoniously carted off. the apparent indifference of the three onlookers and the ferocious efforts of the driver to get the obviously horse to move. this image was reproduced in the new york herald. probably was effective in opening up the pocketbooks of many people decide of the atlantic. the funeral is notable for ,aving only three mourners where ordinarily dozens would have been present for these last rituals.
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other artists returned frequently over the next three years, capturing other desolate scenes of immigration farewells and starving women and children they would have reached boston within about two weeks of publication. the sketches were effective in encouraging local area people to .oin in the campaign the quakers are important in this effort. in conclusion the catastrophic consequences of the seven-year irish famine prices -- famine prices changed the trajectory of democratic irish history. causing generations and generations to immigrate.
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what it did do was create lasting links between ireland and boston, making boston the most irish region in the country. its financial and moral support helps to fuel the movement, as well as ireland's 20th-century drive. vibrancy of the living links between irish -- and even in my own beloved -- where 48% of the residents claim irish ancestry. we irish will survive despite the tragedy of the great famine. hopefully i have given you some context to hear what bill is going to tell us about bostonians in its year of tremendous agony.
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thank you. >> thank you very much. thanks to dennis for the kind introduction. it is always difficult when introducing you, you never know what they are going to say. talking to local historical society and the treasurer was giving a report. the treasurer announced to the audience that there was enough money in the treasury that the society would be able to afford better speakers. dennis thank you very much. always a delight to be here. i felt that was inside of a reunion. thank you all for coming.
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1846 was a good year for boston. and we have got a fresh supply of water. usinglliam morean was ether, and the boston catholics native son had been named bishop of the diocese. donald mckay was building those magnificent clipper ships. bringing in suburbanites from the suburbs working in the city. and that greek revivals customs house was nearing completion. it was a good time. bostonians were enjoying peace and prosperity. we had the usual problems of liquor and prostitution. then there was the influx of the irish.
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in this particular moment it was manageable. bishop fitzpatrick turned up be a congenial -- on the national scene, things were not so good. in may 1846, the united states declared war on mexico. opposition to the war. the irish community was strong in support of the war and they wished to be patriotic. pilot said american troops were marching into mexico on a secret mission. an irishman was signing up to serve. the irish were also aiding in the war effort. the uss jamestown arrived.
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she was relatively new, at this time something of an antique. the united states navy had been rather slow to recognize steam power. navy refitent of the jamestown and send her back to africa on patrol. those warm treacherous waters wrecked havoc on the ship. while bostonians were debating war, refitting jamestown, other news arrived in the community to .ivert some attention
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in the autumn of 1845, a strange blight struck the potato crop and destroyed a considerable amount of that crop. reports circulated that everything would be ok in the next year. in june of 1846 commissary officer reported that the early crop of potatoes looked most abundant. july, reports of some cases of disease. not enough to cause concern. it became increasingly obvious there was a disaster. the times of london announced total annihilation. the news arrived slowly in boston. bishopary 1847, fitzpatrick issued his first pastora letter.
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calling on those in the name of christian charity and their own humanity to help those been consumed. mad with the pangs of hunger. were also moved with compassion. rallies were held in major cities. president chaired a meeting in washington dc. city, town and village to organize relief. boston had a rally. they elected a committee to raise money from ireland. a clear major theme began to emerge.
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peace movements throughout the western world. since the end of the war of -- they hadeties been very active during the oregon crisis we had with great britain. it seemed to some that this was an opportunity to cement relations with great britain. somebody in the audience saw a means of endearing themselves to the british for purposes of trade and commerce. -- josiaha quincy spoke to the hall in philadelphia and said come on a short time before our nation martialed for war against
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england. now our efforts are being used to assist her in feeding or starving children. private outpouring proved interesting but inefficient and lacking. there was seen among some the need for government action. 1847, aary 20 4, petition from a new yorker, george to k. he petitioned the navy to carry supplies to ireland. there was some deep irony in this. the macedonian was in the brooklyn navy yard undergoing refitting. she was the same macedonian that
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had been captured by the american navy in the war of 1812. many saw this curious irony. there was considerable opposition to all of this, about using a public warship for a private practice. and he himself was a curious fellow. he was described as an amiable , which seem to be an oxymoron. he had more or less retired from .he sea on private investments and he spent most of his time as a friend of artists. he was a patron of the arts. his wife was a daughter of a well-known new york poet. .e moved in literary circles
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from whence he took the title on his own, commodore. the stress distressed him because his mother had been born in ireland. so he took it upon himself to rally support. his associations and social circle weresocial interesting people, but they had no money. he found himself awash, ashore without support. his petitione sent off to the congress and it caused some debate. the debate begin to divide in three different areas. there came to the floor of the house a proposal for direct toropriation of $500,000
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support relief for ireland. that caused huge debate. while this debate was going on over the appropriation, while his petition was being considered, a petition from boston arrived, quite similar to his -- we were asking for another warship. the jamestown at this moment was nearly ready for sea. that jamestown be turned over to a group of bostonians with a civilian crew to carry food to ireland. choices.had three the direct eight of $1 million and the petition from robert bennett forbes. the aid bill quickly died because that was real money. the president told congress that if they passed it he would veto
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it. congress per -- congress moneyses no power to use for such public purpose. he was quite clear. on the very last today march 3, 1847, congress passed a resolution that the secretary of the navy be authorized to be placed at the disposal of of new jersey, the suchd states macedonian contributions may be made for their relief and is placed at the disposal of boston. for the light purpose. the secretary ordered the shift's -- order the ships be
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turned over to only have civilian crews. the secretary of the navy was quite unhappy with his resolution. these situations worked well in boston. everything that could go wrong in new york went wrong. y had no connections, he had no way to raise money. he had the same hostile attitude from the navy department in new york. forbes would be here in boston. spielberg could not invent this could not invent his career.
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at this moment he was 43 years old and thought he was a little too old to go to see. he had taken his first command at age 20 in the china trade. they had made him boston's principle china traders. in addition to his reputation as a merchant and sea captain, he was a great humanitarian. it very distinguished organization. organization an made up of captains having some claim to boston who holds masters licenses at all the season the world.
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they had great humanitarian interest. a mutual benefit society. captains training for voyages. massachusetts humane society, they do not deal with cats and dogs. the humane society was involved in rescue speed they had established a series of huts along the coast of massachusetts, particularly along cape cod. and their mission was to save shipwrecks failures -- shipwrecked sailors.
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so it was logical that forbes would be at the center of this. he was locally known as black been forbes. that had more to do with the color of his hair then his disposition. forbes was at the center to borrow the jamestown, to use and carry her to ireland. a crew for the jamestown was enlisted. the first and second mates were members of the marine society. both of these men were captains in their own right. other members of the society
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helped recruit men to join the crew. men signed on, 23 from boston. all others were new englanders. only other -- only one other person was identified as irish. crew. half of the given the large number of it is interesting so many american sale on the jamestown. on march 28 the jamestown went away. running before a brisk northwest wind is always interesting, sailing vessels always sailed. seem to be a cliche of sorts and was accompanied by the esteemed tug of robert bennett forbes.
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the tug cast off the jamestown. it is still late winter or early spring. they made a very smart voyage. a remarkable voyage, actually. great celebrations. jamestown, the banquets would seem somewhat unusual. the mayor framed on display. jamestown was back home by the ninth of may to a throng of cheering of bostonians. bostonians were excited.
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on may 9, jamestown came past boston light and came to anchor off the charlestown navy yard. lots of toasts. absent was the commandant of the navy yard. opposing the voyage of the jamestown. he refused to attend the dinner. he said it is improper for to dineindividuals aboard a public warship. two days later it was another grand dinner in rochester. as it was described in the newspaper, 75 of his fine looking fellows that cracked a
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biscuit and joined for a celebratory banquet. mr. forbes, shortly after arriving back in boston learn to new york was in great distress. robert bennett forbes made his way to do york city -- to new york city. eventually the macedonian thanks to suppliessure provided by bostonians managed to make her voyage as well. people of boston remembered and celebrated what robert bennett forbes and the marine society had done. he described his experience as
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one of the most prominent and agreeable episodes of my sometimes varied life. one where i take honest pride. never again was the department of the navy if over a public ship for a private mission of mercy. thank you. >> that was a great introduction looking at the macro level. i have been asked to finish up by looking at contributions to ireland during the great famine. the great famine was not the first famine in ireland, it was the most lethal.
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there were famines before the great famine, famines after the great famine. what made the great famine unique was that it was the first national disaster in the world to attract international relief. and the scale is truly amazing. it cuts across gender divides, economic divides, cultural divides. i can give you a flavor of some of those donations. at that point people felt it was a one-year crisis. that point, to places decided they would send money to ireland.
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the beginning of 1846, some money came in to ireland. kolkata and india was the first place to raise money for ireland. initially founded by english civil servants. not just the rich native indians, but some of the poorest of the poor in india. the other place was boston. it gives you an insight into the complexity of why people gave to ireland. in this case they were different. the committee and india gave because they wanted to show irish people how beneficial it was to be part of the british empire. the people who gave money were supporters of daniel o'connell.
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they wanted to give money to show how british rule in ireland was. two very different motives. i hope i can continue. 1846, unfortunately the blight did return to ireland. and far more than previous years. the whole of the crop was wiped out. it explains the level of exports in 1847. again asked catherine explains, there had been a change of government in the new government minoritys a government, wanting cheap government and minimum intervention.
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how to grow the country facing this overwhelming famine. in the wake of the second devastation, private charity throughout the world is underway. there was a massive relief giving effort. from australia, from russia, from hong kong, from china. from north america, from south america, money came in to ireland. largest relief organization was the british relief association. established in london on the first of january 1847. the man who established it is a jewish banker. we have no connection at ireland. they worked for over a year to bring money with ireland.
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this british relief association kept meticulous reference. over 15,000 individuals. it's an incredible effort. a donor isisted as someone we love to hate in ireland. not cromwell, he is gone. queen victoria. in ireland queen victoria is the famine queen. traditional -- gave 10 pounds toy dogs home. queen victoria gave 2000 pounds to ireland. she was a largest individual donor.
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she gave money with the promise of more if she would be necessary. didn't quite happen. she was the largest individual donor. donor.s wealthy the sultan of turkey. why would the sultan of turkey gift ireland? we do have copies of his correspondence and the national library. the ambassador in constantinople wouldis people that it defend royal protocols if anybody gave more than the british monarch. he would reduce his donation to
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1000 pounds. which ultimately was to result in the primary war. that may be why he gave. kiana who the president was in 1847. .e gave $60
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they convey this massive meeting in washington at the beginning of 1847. you are a good audience. he was controversial because he owned slaves. who are very involved in distribution relief in ireland with the society of in the society were firm abolitionists. moneyr they should take from people involved in slavery. in the end they decided they could because it was for the greater good. they wereafter offered money by a woman involved in -- and they decided they couldn't take her money.
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we can see some moral dilemmas involved. the british relief association was the largest organization. mostly they operated from the .eginning of 1847 private charity had dried up. money, they get this this relief? of quakers from america, from england, from ireland traveling to the west of ireland. up soup they do this as a great cost to themselves. 13 quakers died during the famine giving relief. the british relief association operated differently. uphold a count to distribute and oversee their relief.
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account -- born in poland, left in 1830 because of russian influence within prussia. returned he was famous at the time of the potato blight. he actually chartered the highest mountains in australia with one irish convict and one aborigine. he is the first person to find gold in australia. they were afraid of the convicts getting there before they did. it was a very well kept secret. in january 1847, he presented himself to the british relief
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association and volunteered to go to ireland. and they accepted his offer. it was the coldest on record for 100 years. despite heavy snowfall he made and thist part brilliant idea was to feed the schools and established anddrop the west of ireland school children attended schools on two conditions. they have to comb their hair and wash their hands. by 1848 almost quarter of a million children were being fed through this every day. per -- personally visited the british prime minister who promised to continue to keep the schools open.
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but he said the treasury could not fund it. so the school closed. that was a tremendous loss. just some of the people who gave. it crosses also is of distinctions and differences. one person who gave to the british relief association, a connecticut child. he was discovered by pt are numb. they would could england to meet the queen, which they did. they passed ireland and somebody made a collection for the starving in ireland. he gave $100 to the president.
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what is amazing is he was only 10 years old at it the time. would return to ireland he would always make a donation to the poor and west of ireland. who gave wasse arthur guinness the second. you all know what he did for a living? got -- did so reluctantly because he was a teetotaler. evangelical and most of the money he gave went to the west of ireland to convert starving catholics. time, i'm running out of some of the most remarkable donations come from people who are impoverished.
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donations came from a penitentiary for fallen women in london, who gave up food for days. two of the most remarkable donations, the -- people. they had been removed from their land and dispossessed. living in the poorest of land in oklahoma. and they sent $174 to the society in dublin. few -- to speak about that donation. he went to the homestead of andrew jackson. a tree of aed gesture of forgiveness. group that always moved me is a group of convicts in london. time the presence were
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overcrowded and they were on a deep commissioned -- on a decommissioned prison ship. if they could make their own donation. they raised 17 shillings. a year later eve -- a year later every single one of them was dead from fever. but they still had compassion. we don't know what the full impact of these donations. they suggest many had not been sent. ,nd just like in jamestown thousands upon thousands of more people would die in ireland.
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>> was the jamestown's cargill? >> about 800 variety of food steps. it was all food steps. in variety. the usual products. america was an exporter to england and ireland. 800 barrels i recall. over the navy yard. >> one thing about the supplies in the jamestown as they came all over from new england. western massachusetts, connecticut and so forth. it really was a regional effort of great importance.
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other thing is the arrival of the jamestown in april 1847 came at a very crucial time. it certainly did help people in the area who had six or seven weeks. a distribution set up by a local by the work of an important liverpool philanthropist. they came over to ireland to assist in that. >> thank you so much for your lecture.
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what doust wondering you feel about the lessons learned from that to? >> i think a few of us alluded to the fact there are some parallels from today. for me famine is not inevitable. the great famine, the great hunger was not inevitable. this happened for the reasons catherine talked about. irish people were very much treated as second-class citizens. the context of that massive empire, there is no doubt within the british empire, massive amounts of food could have been marshaled and taken to ireland.
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the british government chose not to. chose to keep that massive amounts of food and alcohol with an ireland, they chose not to. some of those attitudes prevailed today. the most frightening attitude in the 1840's is when we say poverty is the -- there were attitudes. we shouldn't do too much to help people in ireland because it is their own fault. there are very much parallels between the 1840's and our world today. >> when people are hungry you feed them. the first reaction is you feed the people. you can reform them later. but the immediate need is to feed them.
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charity in the 19th century, in the 20th century does wonderful things. on the scale we see today, is simply not adequate. the first response would be to feed the hungry. >> certainly it was a lesson applied by people who were rescued from the famine or children from the famine refugees. that was a very heavy involvement of irish men and women and charitable activities in the boston area. the founding of orphanages, hospitals. and educational institutions to take care of the people who are less fortunate. collins
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he then spent an incredible amount of time working in a ofuntary capacity from many the institutions in the second half of the 19th century. that is another very important lesson, we can all do something to help our human -- our fellow human beings who are suffering. >> there is some awareness among the irish people of the national destitution, which had fallen on the whole island. did that have any dimension? you say it was worse up in some areas, but it was a national failure. >> different in different places.
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areas5 there were some where it was only one third of some areas. it was a fairly good media system in ireland, so people didn't know about what was happening in some areas. i read that quotation from the banner, they were summarizing conditions that were published in a variety of newspapers. may be you want to comment on that. >> it was mostly by word-of-mouth. going to the workhouses. do,thing that people did and it created more problems, they tried to go to the towns.
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they actually increased their population during those years. they were not necessarily at her off because people flocked in to work. for that sense it became a more national network of people. >> we took a day to the national library. i want to know why they survived. around 1850as owned by maurice o'connell, who owned it with daniel o'connell. from morris, writing to his dad in london, saying i did as you said, i took the money and bought food.
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that seemed extraordinary to me. came from aief from people who live off the fat of calf. >> we try to give some insight of the complexity of the famine. each year is different, every region is slightly different. his rodeo daniel o'connell came from. died at themself heights of the famine. when she went to show you the image of the blighted daniel o'connell, this gave you an impression of how he was used in london.
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articles, series of saying daniel o'connell and his sons were the worst landlords in ireland. with a did as they suspended ranks area people on our property don't have to pay rent. in that sense they try to help the airport tenants. that happened in other parts of the country. it is the response of local landowners. a lot of landowners didn't even live in ireland. they tended to be better. they tend to be better disposed.
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suddenly o'connell and his sons tried to help the people. home -- >> how much went to scotland? precisely what christine can tell you -- precisely what the macedonians delivered i don't know. >> in fact in the fundraising
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here in the austin, initially it was so -- it was suggested this campaign was to bring relief to both areas. people weren't quite as dependent on the potato. interesting, in the special -- that was designed for the jamestown voyage, the scottish thistle was surrounded by a reef of irish shamrocks. that also flew from the macedonian. >> it always amused me that the -- a flag, a house flag. and it was the flag designed for the jamestown.
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>> thank you all for coming. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> interested in american history tv echo visit our website, watch college lectures, museum tours, archival films and more. american history tv at >> check out our c-span classroom website at it's full of teaching resources for classroom members. the improved layout gives members access -- including short current events videos that highlight important events in washington dc.
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constitution clips that bring the constitution to life. social study lesson plans, our search function allows c-span to -- w classroom teachers andbellringer's video clips short videos paired with the discussion questions that make the federal government and politics more excessive will to your students. >> i love the bell ringers. them in conjunction with an activity we are doing that day. >> it's just fabulous. my students use it regularly. they are working on clipping videos and making questions that they can design to their own bellringer's. it is perfectly set up, ready
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to go classroom to liberation. classroom discussion on a variety of topics that are relevant today. >> join thousands of your fellow teachers across the nation as a member of c-span classroom. it's free and easy to register. if you register now you can request our free classroom size american presidents timeline poster, a graphic display of the biographies of all 45 presidents. find out about it on tv, theerican history organization of american historians hosted a panel of historians who discuss their roles as expert witnesses in court cases on abortion, native american treaties, gay rights, and affirmative action. here's a preview. publish reports, even though i'm proud of the work.
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concerningeport treaty rights to shellfish in puget sound, it involves a treaty clause. i had to explain the temporary meaning of the terms usual and accustomed places and the term -- a few words into a report that ran several hundred pages. the research led me to considering myself for a time, the country's leading historian of oyster cultivation. it is a title to which i never aspired and never had much competition. putting historical knowledge in ways that made our professional -- allowed our professional standards to make immediate difference in the world.
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the new book -- an expert has its own history. it has been awkwardly grafted onto the adversarial tradition of american jurisprudence that overthrew and replaced the old equity. the best ofted in motives for the set of practices for which i would rather not be a part. i do not regard fee-based governments as a good thing. as an expert i am part of it. i do not think adversarial procedures is the best way to settle matters of historical interpretation. that is what i engage in as an expert. forcingays uneasy people to defend their lives, rights, lands, and very identity
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from reforms not of their own choosing, but that's with the tribes have to do. watch the entire program sunday at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. eastern time. american history tv, only on c-span3. >> fcc chairman proposed reversing the obama administration regulations on the internet. fellowd with my commissioners a proposal to reverse the mistake of title ii. at the return on the light touch regulatory framework that served and the firstwell six years of the obama administration. >> monday night we ask the director of the center for internet communications and technology policy at the american enterprise institute and chris lewis, vice president at public knowledge, their thoughts on the impact of the proposal.
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>> we think the net neutrality rules are working. wildly popular. the overwhelming majority of americans want to have clear rules for the road. we're concerned he has gone down a path to review and repeal some or all of those rules. the day the rules were passed, the internet was free and open. there wasn't a problem. dystopianno controlled internet with isps or interfering to reuse the applications or look at the content of their choice. >> watch the communicators monday night on c-span two. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in


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