Around the ethnic celebration of the Irish on this year's St Patrick's Day, just past, there is that wisp of remembrance by the millions of New Yorkers who trace their ancestors' desperate emigration from Ireland (under British rule at that time) during the 'Potato Famine', a euphemism for capitalist England's deliberate starving of a captive population for profit.
That 19th century English capitalist spectacular mass-murder is worthy remembering now, as mega-massive capitalist banking frauds for profit begin to have their inevitable loss-of-life effect in the neo-colonized Third World.
Capitalist 'investment' having control over resources needed to feed, cloth, shelter and care for majority humanity, stagnating in a stupid capitalist made swelter of confusion and ineptitude replacing normal plundering activity which at least allowed the plundered to eat and survive in order to produce that surplus for future plunder by First World elite.
American peace activists should extend their castigation of the U.S. for its present imperialist wars to include its elder partner in Third World conquest, the government of Britain. England preposterously prides itself on claiming that it is, and always has been, democratic, while at the same time happily capitalist and imperialist, thus intending that its own subjugated lower classes were complicit in English crimes against humanity world-wide, for presumably having had the freedom to have spoken out against these crimes.
History of British Empire deMOCKracy taking of tons of Irish flesh.
The confiscation and colonization of the northern part of conquered Ireland began in 1609 under a plan and process called the Plantation of Ulster. Protestant English and Scottish planters were settled on land confiscated from Irish landowners.
The peasant population was intended to be relocated to live near garrisons and Protestant churches and the settlers were barred from selling their lands to any Irishman. The principal landowners were to be Undertakers, wealthy men from England and Scotland who undertook to import tenants from their own estates. There was also tried in other parts of the island.
In the summer of 1642, some 10,000 Scottish Lowlands Covenanter soldiers arrived to quell the Irish rebellion. The Scots committed many atrocities against the Catholic population. The Scottish army fought in Ireland until 1650 in the Irish Confederate Wars. Many stayed on in Ireland afterward with the permission of the Cromwellian authorities.
Irish antagonism towards England was aggravated by the economic situation of Ireland in the eighteenth century. Throughout the century English trade with Ireland was the most important branch of English overseas trade. The Protestant Anglo-Irish absentee landlords drew off some £800,000 in the early part of the century, rising to £1 million, in an economy that had a GDP of about £4 million. Completely deforested of timber for exports Irish estates turned to the export of salt beef, pork, butter, and hard cheese. The Bishop of Cloyne wondered,
"how a foreigner could possibly conceive that half the inhabitants are dying of hunger in a country so abundant in foodstuffs?"
In the 1740s, these economic inequalities, when combined with an exceptionally cold winter and poor harvest, led directly to the first Great Irish Famine (1740-1741), which killed about 400,000 people.
Peasant secret societies became common in eighteenth century Ireland as the only means of tenant farmers to redress grievances against their landlords.
Great economic disparities existed between different areas of the country, with the north and east being relatively highly developed and involved in export of goods, where as much of the west was roadless, hardly developed and had a cashless subsistence economy.
The Irish Parliament of this era was almost exclusively Protestant in composition. Catholics had been barred from holding office in the early 17th century, barred from sitting in Parliament by mid century and finally disenfranchised in 1727.
In 1800 the Irish Parliament and the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Act of Union which, from 1 January 1801, abolished the Irish legislature, and merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
In this period, Ireland was governed by authorities appointed in Britain. These were the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who was appointed by the King and the Chief Secretary for Ireland appointed by the British Prime Minister. As the century went on, the British Parliament took over from the monarch as the executive as well as legislative branch of government. [What does that tell us about 'democratic paragon of virtue', the English parliament is touted to be?]
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