the Irish Famine Essay

Submitted By steven0567
Words: 656
Pages: 3

History: 20 mark question

Both sources L and M are written by British representatives and both suggest that the British have done what they can or should do to aid the Irish during the famine. Source L is a journalistic report written by the Times newspaper editorial in 1846. The source begins by saying that the Irish people believe that the famine is worse than it is and that they are exaggerating the severity of the situation. The second point made in the source states that the government provided work for the Irish people, regardless of their widespread hatred of Britain, and this in turn fulfilled their duties to Ireland by warding off starvation. The extract goes on to say that any further negative events were sent by god and that it was a test of their indolence. Source L makes another point when it says that the Irish character must be modified and corrected for the conditions in Ireland to get any better. The final point made in the source is that the British view the famine a blessing as it meant that the Irish people must change their main dietary staple from potatoes to meat and that the meat will give them the hunger and lust to work and gain money to buy more meat.
Source L was written during the time of the famine so is therefore a primary source and details, although possibly left out due to the biased nature of the British tabloid paper and the discrimination against the Irish people, were not simply forgotten over time. Source M is an extract from a letter written by Cork magistrate Nicholas Cummins after a visit to Skibbereen, county cork in 1846. The source immediately states the awareness of the scenes of frightful hunger and that the magistrate took with him as much bread as five men could carry to aid the Irish people affected by the famine. Cummins then goes on to say that the scenes he saw were so horrific that they cannot be described in speech or writing and could only be seen to understand the magnitude of the blight. The source continues by detailing the scenes of skeletal people, so thin and sickly that they appeared, at first glance, to be dead.
Source M was also written during the time of the famine and details were therefore not lost or forgotten over time. The source has been extracted from a letter that was written to be informative and unbiased. The letter was