WITF Passport Last Chance! Stream The Hunger: The Story of the Irish Famine until November 30
Recount Ireland’s catastrophic famine that led to the exodus of millions from the island in the 1840s. The worst humanitarian disaster of the 19th Century had surprising international origins. Narrated by Liam Neeson.
This two-episode mini-series begins by examining the social, political and economic conditions that allowed the famine to occur, setting a crisis into motion in Ireland and Europe. The British government has initial success in staving off the worst impact of the famine, but a government change under John Russell in 1846 leaves many dealing with the fall out of an economic crash in contrast to lower impact elsewhere in Europe. The death rate rises exponentially as resources run out for the Irish poor.
The second episode explores the British government deciding that all further famine relief for the Irish must be paid for from rates raised on Irish landlords. When landlords either cannot or will not pay, many evict their struggling tenants, forcing millions to either move into already crowded cities or to emigrate. At the famine’s conclusion, one million Irish have perished, and the remaining working classes attempt to build new lives in America. For those that remain in Ireland, a new generation is committed to achieve self-determination and to revive a dying culture.
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