From Ireland to America: Emigration and the Great Famine 1845 – 1852

Amira Achouri


One of the changes that compose history is the migration of peoples. The human development of colossal numbers from one geographical area to another and their first contact with other social and economic backgrounds is a major source of change in the human state. For at least two centuries long before the great brook of the Hungry Forties, Irish immigrants had been making their way to the New World. Yet, the tragedy of the Great Famine is still seen as the greatest turning point of Irish history for the future of Ireland was forever changed. The paper tends to explore the conception of emigration and how it steadily became “a predominant way of life” in Ireland, so pervasive and integral to Irish life that it had affected the broad context of both Irish and American histories simultaneously. From the post-colonial perspective, my study presents emigration as one of the greatest emotional issues in Irish history, as it tends to have a very negative image especially in the post-Famine era. People are generally seen as involuntary “exiles”, compelled to leave Ireland by “British tyranny” and “landlord oppression” - an idealized Ireland where everyone was happy and gay and where roses grew around the door of the little white-washed cottage.


Irish history, Irish diaspora, emigration, the Great Famine, America.

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