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But the UK had no lack of foreign currency. And Ireland was a net exporter of food.

Great Famine (Ireland) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cecil Woodham-Smith, an authority on the Irish Famine, wrote in The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849 that no issue has provoked so much anger and embittered relations between England and Ireland as "the indisputable fact that huge quantities of food were exported from Ireland to England throughout the period when the people of Ireland were dying of starvation." Ireland remained a net exporter of food throughout most of the five-year famine.[fn 4]

Christine Kinealy writes that Irish exports of calves, livestock (except pigs), bacon and ham actually increased during the famine. The food was shipped under guard from the most famine-stricken parts of Ireland. However, the poor had no money to buy food and the government then did not ban exports.[66]

Ireland in that period is an example of what happens to a subordinate region that suffers a shock where the general population is denied the money to buy the basics, even the basics produced in their own region.

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by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 02:29:56 PM EST
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But this is essentially the Spanish dynamic (and to some extent the Greek): Cash crops replace food crops. That the cash crops happened to be food meant that the Irish, had they had an independent government acting in the national interest, could have readily converted cash crop to food crop. Spain is not so fortunate.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 03:11:23 PM EST
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