“Great Britain, Ireland, and the Famine of 1846-1852"
Join the Victorian Society at Falls Church for a special lecture at The Kensington. This event will be open to
“Great Britain, Ireland, and the Famine of 1846-1852″
Join the Victorian Society at Falls Church for a special lecture at The Kensington. This event will be open to just 20 Members of the Victorian Society and 20 of our Kensington Residents/Families so please be sure to RSVP below.
Synopsis by Ed Lengel: The mainstream British attitude toward the Irish in the first half of the 1840s was based upon the belief in Irish improvability. Most educated British rejected any notion of Irish racial inferiority and insisted that under middle-class British tutelage the Irish would in time reach civilization. However, the potato famine of 1846-1852 led the British public to question their optimistic attitude toward the Irish. Rhetoric concerning the relationship between the two peoples would change dramatically as a result. The unwillingness of the British government and public to make the sacrifices necessary, not only to feed the Irish but to regenerate their island, was justified by assertions of Irish racial inferiority. By the 1850s, Ireland increasingly appeared not as a member of the British family of nations in need of uplifting, but as a colony whose people needed to be kept in place by force of arms.