Example: 2010, Question 5.C.
C. Write an account of one of the following topics:
(i)The impact of the Famine on Irish society after 1850.
(ii)The problems faced by Irish emigrants abroad after the famine.
(iii)Contrasting lifestyles in rural Ireland and industrial England around 1850. (12)
Answer: 5 C (i)
Before the famine, Ireland's population was over 8 million but by 1901 the population had declined to 4.6 million. SRS The poorest class in the countryside, the cottiers, were hardest hit by the famine and most of them either died or emigrated after being evicted by their landlords. The remaining tenant farmers benefitted as average farm sizes increased. SRS There was a huge change in land inheritance patterns after the famine. Subdivision of land was ended with the eldest son now inheriting the entire farm. There was also a general increase in pastoral farming so there was a reduced demand for agricultural labourers. This meant that the younger sons had little option but to emigrate. SRS The Irish language went into rapid decline as parents realised that many of their children would probably emigrate to North America, Britain or Australia. Parents encouraged their children to learn English in the National schools, which were being built during this period. SRS Many landlords went bankrupt during the Famine years as their tenants were unable to pay their rents. In the post-famine period Irish agriculture became more commercialised, the spread of the railways aided this process. Subsistence agriculture based on potatoes was replaced in many cases by pastoral farming such as sheep grazing, dairy and beef cattle. SRS
Marking scheme: 5 x SRSs at 2 marks each + overall mark 2 = 12/12
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