Ireland

The Irish potato famine

1/ Global comprehension.
Link the following dates  (1845 / 1846) and numbers (6 years / 100,000 / 1,000,000 / 1/5) to what they refer to:
– The estimated number of people who died from disease and malnutrition: 1/5
– The number of Irish who died : 1,000,000
– The number of years that the famine lasted : 6 years
– The number of Irish who sailed to Canada
– The year the Irish potato famine struck : 1845
– Food riots erupted : 1846

2/ What did the famine result in? Complete
A. It not only destroyed a vital crop but it also killed more than a million people and exposed the social and economic problems facing XIX century Ireland.

B. Recap: list the three points that resulted from the famine. Make sentences.

3/ The cause of the famine
A. Listen and say what caused the famine:  » A mysterious fungus destroyed the potato harvest. »
« but the government’s inadequate response only made the crisis worse. »

B. In what you read above find two words that mean « récolte ». crop + harvest
C. What did the British never do to help the Irish?

They did not provide the population with food + private donors failed to be requested

D. Aggravating factors.
a. Listen and complete:
« In addition, poorly organized private relief efforts failed to raise funds from donors. »
What does it mean? Circle the synonym for each word:
relief :                      annoyance                          help                           damage
fail :                           come to nothing                succeed                      finish
donor :                     antagonist                          opponent                   benefactor

b. circle what you hear:
head – help                cause – because                   stash- cash                annoy – avoid

eviction – extinction     locally – local    with – wheat      food cattle – food staples                         starving – barfing

c. Complete the following with the words above
The Irish didn’t help  their cause either. Farmers who needed  cash    to avoid

eviction exported wheat grown locally and other food staples  that could have fed their starving people.

d. Rephrase. Use your own words.

4/ What did the Irish people do to cope with the disaster?
A. True or False? Listen and write T or F next to the following statements:
a. The situation eventually became better F
b. People ate anything they could find, even seaweed or grass T
c. People sold or pawned(= mettre en gage) everything they had in order to get some money for food T
d. The British sent in troops to bring some food to the starving Irish F

B. How did the English landlords react to the catastrophe that was plaguing their farmers?
check one:
X To avoid going bankrupt, English landlords evicted their Irish farmers
□ To help their Irish farmers, English landlords sent food relief to Ireland
□ To get rid of their Irish farmers, English landlords sent in troops

C. The immigration to Canada and the United States
a. Listen and pick out the expressions that show that the trip across the Atlantic was done in harsh conditions: « poorly built overcrowed vessels » / « coffin ships »

b. Listen and complete
 » The Canadian reception facilities at Grosse Isle at the mouth of the St Lawrence River were ruefully inadequate to receive the massive influx of immigrants. »

c. What happened to half the survivors? Check one:
□ They went back to Ireland as soon as they could
X They moved South to the United States
□ They moved North to Alaska