The Instigator
brendanww2
Pro (for)
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The Contender
MolecularBird06
Con (against)
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The "Irish Potato Famine" was a genocide against the Irish

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,764 times Debate No: 48911
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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brendanww2

Pro

This debate is a debate concerning whether the Great Famine in Ireland meets the definition of a genocide. I am debating whether the Famine was an engineered by the British to evict and/or kill the Irish Catholic population. I am not saying the blight was a bio-weapon, but the economic policies implemented in Ireland forced the lower class Irish Catholics to rely solely on the potato for sustenance.
MolecularBird06

Con

The British were not the cause of the potato famine. A fungus was. Are you saying that the British were capable of engineering a fungus that could target potatoes when they didn't even know that Bactria could cause a disease? In the 1800s biology was in its early stage. The first time a person managed to successfully genetically modification something was in the 1970s, this leaves out the idea that the British developed the fungus. Also the British were not dumb. They wouldn't send valuable scientists to make a fungus to attack Irish potatoes just to kill. They controlled Ireland, whats the point of killing them if the Irish weren't in rebellion? Also the fungus originated from Mexico or the Andes(the orgin of the potato), these are were never controlled by the British. This is proof that the British never made the fungus.
Debate Round No. 1
brendanww2

Pro

To begin, I said that the Brits COULD NOT have engineered the blight to kill the potatoes. The genocide was through the economic systems put in place by the British forced the Irish to rely solely on the potato for sustenance. In addition the British governments response meres the soviet governments response to the Holodomor

The Holodomor in the Ukraine from was a 2 year famine that killed nearly 3 million in the Ukraine. It is recognized by many nations as a genocide as it targeted Ukrainians and Cossacks. In Ireland it was in essence the same as the Holodomor as the Irish Catholics were treated as second class citizens and denied aid when it was needed. The British had built a system so that the Irish would be unable to come out of such a catastrophe.

Historian Peter Duffy stated that the famine was a "landlord-engineered replacement of tillage plots with grazing lands". Karl Marx also said that "The potato blight resulted from the exhaustion of the soil, it was a product of English rule." and in Das Kapital he said that "The Irish famine of 1846 killed more than 1,000,000 people, but it killed poor devils only. To the wealth of the country it did not the slightest damage".

While the British did not create the blight it was their actions that cause the famine. The Irish had no food to fill their bellies when the potatoes died, as they British had taken their land, their rights and subsequently their food.

Not to mention that when the blight struck Scotland, the Scots were given copious amounts of aid, while in Ireland the Irish were given less than nothing. The Brits allowed Starvation and disease to ravage the country and claim over 1 million of the Irish people, and force another 70% of the population to leave, of which only 30% of the emigrants survived. The Irish Famine was one of the worst genocides in world history and should be taught as such.

http://www.irishcentral.com...

http://robertnielsen21.wordpress.com...
MolecularBird06

Con

Even though the British didn't allow the Irish to own land, they didn't start a genocide. The definition of genocide is:the deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

"Not to mention that when the blight struck Scotland, the Scots were given copious amounts of aid, while in Ireland the Irish were given less than nothing. The Brits allowed Starvation and disease to ravage the country and claim over 1 million of the Irish people, and force another 70% of the population to leave, of which only 30% of the emigrants survived. The Irish Famine was one of the worst genocides in world history and should be taught as such."

The British didn't see the the Phytophthora infestans coming. The didn't intend to wipe the Irish out. In fact they did the opposite. They sent relief to the Irish. Queen Victoria herself gave 2000 pounds to the relief effort. This shows that the British didn't intend a genocide. If the British intended genocide why did they allow relief to reach Ireland? Why did they give money and food to the Irish? This just shows that the the British didn't intend genocide. Also if you look at a world map, Scotland is closer to the U.K than Ireland, this is the main reason why relief reached the Scots first.

"While the British did not create the blight it was their actions that cause the famine. The Irish had no food to fill their bellies when the potatoes died, as they British had taken their land, their rights and subsequently their food."

As I said earlier, the Brits didn't see the famine coming, they were just trying to get the Irish to become Protestants. There means were normal for the times, try to show the Irish that they would be better of if they were Protests.

"The Holodomor in the Ukraine from was a 2 year famine that killed nearly 3 million in the Ukraine. It is recognized by many nations as a genocide as it targeted Ukrainians and Cossacks. In Ireland it was in essence the same as the Holodomor as the Irish Catholics were treated as second class citizens and denied aid when it was needed. The British had built a system so that the Irish would be unable to come out of such a catastrophe."

The Holodomor was caused by the unfamiliarity with new crops, this was not the case with the Irish potato famine and storage issues. They had been growing potatoes for a while and there storages were fine, a fungus caused the famine. Also relief reached Ireland while it didn't reach Ukraine.

Also your source is a CONSPIRACY BOOK. These are unreliable theories that are backed by little to no proof.
Debate Round No. 2
brendanww2

Pro

The denial of aid, forcing the Irish to either leave or die is a form of systematic extermination. My main example is Holodomor, which is literally Ukrainian for Extermination by Hunger. This is the exact same as what happened in Ireland. According to How the Irish Saved Civilization, a popular book about Irish history, while the blight may have caused the potatoes to die, it was the British that caused the Irish to die. The Brits, much as Saddam had done to the Assyrians and Kurds during the food for oil program, denied aid to Irish Catholics, and other lower class peasants. According to the late historian Howard Zinn, the Irish were subject to complete extermination policies by the British government. My opponent also acknowledged that the aid did reach Ireland, yet it did not reach the Irish. The British used nature and bureaucracy, rather than guns and massacres. During the Famine the London Times had called for the starving Catholics, not to be converted, but left to die, or even shot. In Tipperary, according to the well known Irish Historian, in County Cork, the landlords had done this to their tenants, and had soldiers shoot those who could not pay their rent.

Even if the British had not caused the famine, their response of neglect and eviction caused far more deaths than the famine wold have caused if the Irish had received the aid they were sent.

In addition the treatment of the Irish in the years prior, follow 7 of Gregory Stanton's 8 stages of Genocide.

1. Classification -People are divided into "us and them"-The Irish were treated as second class citizens through the Penal Laws

3. Dehumanization -"One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects, or diseases."-The Irish were referred to as "Papists" and "left footers"

4. Organization -"Genocide is always organized... Special army units or militias are often trained and armed..."-The Royal Irish Constabulary was established in 1826 to enforce the Penal Laws on the Irish, and they did so with brutal force

5. Polarization - "Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda..."-The London Times calls for the death of the Irish people.

6. Preparation -"Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity..."-This had been done through the the Corn Laws and the expansion of the Penal Laws

7. Extermination -"It is 'extermination' to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human"- Coogan states that many in Britiain called the famine an "Act of God" and said that the Irish were just Papists and left footers

8. Denial -"The perpetrators... deny that they committed any crimes.."-The Genocide is now called the potato famine, and has become the punch line of anti-Irish jokes.

Finally the Negation has refused to cite any sources while I have cited multiple sources. This should be interpreted as the Negations arguments are not reliable and therefore invalid.
MolecularBird06

Con

"The denial of aid, forcing the Irish to either leave or die is a form of systematic extermination. My main example is Holodomor, which is literally Ukrainian for Extermination by Hunger. This is the exact same as what happened in Ireland. According to How the Irish Saved Civilization, a popular book about Irish history, while the blight may have caused the potatoes to die, it was the British that caused the Irish to die. The Brits, much as Saddam had done to the Assyrians and Kurds during the food for oil program, denied aid to Irish Catholics, and other lower class peasants. According to the late historian Howard Zinn, the Irish were subject to complete extermination policies by the British government. My opponent also acknowledged that the aid did reach Ireland, yet it did not reach the Irish. The British used nature and bureaucracy, rather than guns and massacres. During the Famine the London Times had called for the starving Catholics, not to be converted, but left to die, or even shot. In Tipperary, according to the well known Irish Historian, in County Cork, the landlords had done this to their tenants, and had soldiers shoot those who could not pay their rent."

My opponent does not seem to understand that the British did provide aid. QUEEN VICTORIA GAVE 2000 POUNDS. The BRITISH ALLOWED RELIEF to reach IRELAND, if the British didn't want the Irish they would have stopped the relief.

"1. Classification -People are divided into "us and them"-The Irish were treated as second class citizens through the Penal Laws"

This is what happened to the Blacks in the U.S it is still not called a genocide.

"3. Dehumanization -"One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects, or diseases."-The Irish were referred to as "Papists" and "left footers""

This is what happened to the Blacks in the U.S it is still not called a genocide.

4. Organization -"Genocide is always organized... Special army units or militias are often trained and armed..."-The Royal Irish Constabulary was established in 1826 to enforce the Penal Laws on the Irish, and they did so with brutal force"

The police did this to Black people in America.

5. Polarization - "Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda..."-The London Times calls for the death of the Irish people.

Many White people also wanted to kill Blacks in America.

6. Preparation -"Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity..."-This had been done through the the Corn Laws and the expansion of the Penal Laws

Blacks were separated from whites by segregation laws, but still it is not considered genocide.

7. Extermination -"It is 'extermination' to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human"- Coogan states that many in Britiain called the famine an "Act of God" and said that the Irish were just Papists and left footers

Yet they still provided relief.

8. Denial -"The perpetrators... deny that they committed any crimes.."-The Genocide is now called the potato famine, and has become the punch line of anti-Irish jokes."

The real cause of the famine was the Phytophthora infestans, which infected potatoes. This is what cause the famine.

"Finally the Negation has refused to cite any sources while I have cited multiple sources. This should be interpreted as the Negations arguments are not reliable and therefore invalid."

My opponent's ONLY SOURCE is a CONSPIRACY BOOK called The Famine Plot. This book is clearly BIASED as it is only stating the famine was genocide. My opponent's sources are all based of this book. This makes his arguments invalid because he cannot cross confirm it. On the other hand the sources bellow are all different which makes it possible to check for false evidence.

As I said earlier, the cause of the famine was a fungus that attacked the potatoes which left them inedible. My opponent has not proved that the famine was caused by the British and only has one source.
Sources:

http://www.britannica.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...(Ireland)
http://www.historyplace.com...
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
brendanww2

Pro

While I do concede that the blight, not the British, my opponent clearly does not understand this debate. I am not arguing whether the Brits caused the blight, I am arguing whether they turned it into a famine. The Arguments made by the negation have not answered my primary points about how the famine was a natural disaster that was then used as a tool of oppression and murder. While the blight caused the famine, only the Irish Catholics were affected, according to one of my Earlier sources, Karl Marx, who visited Ireland during the famine to see the effect of British oppression on the Irish people.

In addition the Negation claims that I have only presented one source, however I have presented multiple sources which are listed below.

Gregory Stanton's 8 stages of Genocide
Das Kapital by Karl Marx
Peter Duffy
http://www.irishcentral.com...
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
An Gota Mor by Tim Pat Coogan
The Everything Irish History and Heritage Book by Amy Hackney Blackwell and Ryan Hackney
101 Things You Didn't Know about Irish History by Ryan Hackney

Given this I can see no reason but a vote for the Affirmation
MolecularBird06

Con

My opponent did not read my arguments. I pointed out that prominent BRITISH figures such as Queen Victoria donated money to relive the famine. The fact they didn't stop relief coming into Ireland shows that they did not want a famine.

All of Pro's sources are based of one book.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Ex-MislTech 1 year ago
Ex-MislTech
Clearly the plant disease was what affected the potatoes, and clearly he british are the disease the affected the Scots and Irish, and why they fought them for a long long time.

Most british citizens are good ppl, but their rulers are corrupt and evil just like most rulers in most
countries including mine.

The corrupt and evil hunger for power and are obsessed with obtaining it, most of us just want a nice
house, nice food, and a nice family.

The british rulers forcing them to grow only potatoes was the main factor, the disease is the lesser
factor because if the switched crops the problem would have been gone.
Posted by MolecularBird06 2 years ago
MolecularBird06
Please do your research, the main cause of the famine was the Phytophthora infestans which cause many potatoes to rot. The British didn't see the famine coming.
Posted by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
Wow Con clearly doesn't understand what he/she is debating. The British laws restricted the Catholics from any sort of money, meaning they could only eat the cheapest food(Potatoes) therefore the laws led to a genicide against the Irish Catholics. (they couldn't afford to go to another nation and rarely knew how to use a compass and map if they even had one, they couldn't get have an education, they couldn't have a profession, and they couldn't be withing 5 miles of a town.) the genicide was likely indirect, but definetely genicide.
Posted by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
"I am debating whether the Famine was an engineered by the British to evict and/or kill the Irish Catholic population."
If you actually research this (I just did) it was obvious direct/indirect(debatable) genocide caused due to policies against catholics.

Straight from wikipedia:

"In the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish Catholics had been prohibited by the penal laws from owning land, from leasing land; from voting, from holding political office; from living in a corporate town or within 5 mi (8.0 km) of a corporate town, from obtaining education, from entering a profession, and from doing many other things necessary for a person to succeed and prosper in Irish society at the time. The laws had largely been reformed by 1793, and in 1829, Irish Catholics could again sit in parliament following the Act of Emancipation."

This claim is entirely true.
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