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I use to think history was boring, and it was taught that way...you know, memorizing dates.  But real history is so much more, and the elderly are the greatest resources.  The Indians valued the wisdom of the elders, but in today's split families, that history is being lost.

The other day a 90 year old friend began telling me that her family had come from Ireland, and they told her  stores that I had never heard.  She began telling me that her Grandfather escaped to England during Great Potato Famine  that began in 1845.  He found the British people most compassionate, and became very pro-British.

On his grandmothers advice, her grandfather moved to America, and brought his starving family from Ireland.  They were very anti-British.  Her relatives said there was plenty of food (cattle, and other crops besides potatoes)  in Ireland during the famine that killed 750,00 people.  But only the British colonialists were allowed such food,

Her Grandfather told her that there was a volcanic eruption that darkened the skies creating an unusually wet and cold climate. He said it  caused the potato blight that destroyed the poor people's food supply.

This was not the story I had heard.  But I have learned not to dismiss such stories too lightly.  I had learned a great deal  from the stories passed down from Indians, Mexicans and blacks.  So I began some research, and too my amazement I found the following.  I have not yet researched the entirety of the documents, but there was much truth in what this ladies family passed down to her. 

Despite  the famine , corn, barley , and dairy products were exported from Ireland to Britain in compliance with  British control  that called colonialism free trade. The Great Famine Of 1845

Livestock was also exported from Ireland  Quick History: The Irish Potato Famine.

I continued to search for the volcanic eruption that her grandfather talked about, and so far have only found this little known history:  The Year Without A Summer (Mini Ice Age)

As I researched more about colonialism, I discovered this.  "Eventually Venice,  Amsterdam , and England all adopted central banks. These banks helped pay for unnecessary wars, unprofitable colonies, and to expand the state at home.  Eventually all of these central banks resulted in economic crises and devaluation.  Meanwhile, the United States remained free of such central banking in the nineteenth century, and  became the world's economic superpower.  We only began to experience the growth of government,  continental wars, and expanding colonial empire, and skyrocketing national debt when the Federal Reserve was found in 1913.  The pace of change accelerated when the final break from the gold standard occurred in 1971."    The Fed's War On The Middle Class

Now this is why real history is so important, and why what we are taught in modern textbooks is so worthless. 


by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 3:07 PM
Replies (11-20):
Dawn07
by Bronze Member on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:13 PM
1 mom liked this
I'm loving this post!
celticdragon77
by on Nov. 10, 2013 at 8:27 PM

I moved around a lot and my experience... how well a subject is taught is quite the variable! 

I am not sure that Ireland is covered at any great depth in public schools. It falls under world history and that is a lot to cover in one year. 

Whether a child goes to public school or is homeschooled, I think they have to be taught to have a curious nature to explore things further in their own private time.

I do think that talking to the people of that place and time adds a wonderful perspective. I wouldnt throw out the book over it though.

I have read a lot about Ireland. I have never heard about a volcano that caused the potato blight. I have heard how one caused the famine in Iceland though. 

There is truth in the British being relunctant to help Ireland during the famine. They were afraid the Irish would be dependent on it. The stories of the Irish famine are so heartbreaking!

There was an issue of land ownership back in those times. Many people could only afford potatoes as a cash crop and to feed their own families. When the famine happened they were evicted and went hungry. Many landowners then used the land for livestock and such. So I am sure there were other trades coming from Ireland. 

Britains idea of help was to create prison type places called workhouses. The workhouses forced families to be torn apart by gender and there were just so many deaths even in those places. Then Britain took that help away and said it was the landowners responsibility to resolve Irelands problems - which just made the problem worse. Eventually the famine ended (after about 5yrs) and policies were changed.

The world at first idly sat by and watched before eventually realizing some help was in order. There were/are mixed and strong feelings between Ireland and Europe over that famine. I am sure for the people who were more well off and got out of Ireland, they felt thankful to the world that helped them. The people who were left behind, I am sure they were more prone to feel bitter towards Europe and the world. 

As with most stories, there are so many perspectives to take into consideration. 

romacox
by Silver Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 6:07 AM

You are right about the volcano.  The articles I linked to said it was one of several rumors as to what created the potato blight.  The Tambora volcano happened in 18 16.  It did create some famine all over the world (including Ireland), but the Great Potato Famine was not until 1845 to 1849. I found no evidence of any volcanic action during that time.

So the elderly ladies relatives were off on that point.  But the rest of it was true, and it is one of the consequences that goes along with another country trying to run the affairs of another country (colonialism/ Imperialism )  

romacox
by Silver Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 7:36 AM

P.S. Gandhi and Mandela  made sure that it was well known how  colonialism effected the indigenous people of  India and Africa.  But there were similar stories in many other countries (like in Ireland) that less is known.about.    In fact many American soldiers who married Filipinos tell similar stories there. 

But the history of  Ireland becomes very clear in the articles I linked to. They are well worth reading. 

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:10 AM
Thanks for sharing! I have no history education, I hated it in school and just did enough to pass. Now I don't know much. DH knows a lot and watches a lot of documentaries, so he ends up telling me stuff I can pass to the kids, or we have history talks sometimes as a family. I think once we get more toward our modern history, he will start teaching it more. We decided to start with ancients and I feel like we are stuck with it because I have this feeling that I need to do it in order. So we decided to just read SOTW Ancients and skip all the projects and additional reading for now so we can move forward.
romacox
by Silver Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM
1 mom liked this

Hi T JandkarasMom.  I do not know how old your children are.  But a lot of excellent little known American history  is told by Justice Joseph Story in his book, A Familiar Exposition Of The Constitution Of The United States..  It use to be a school textbook  He was a Supreme Court Justice, borne 3 years after the Declaration of Independence, and his father fought in the American Revolution. 

You will also want to use this free online dictionary, because many definitions are now the exact opposite of what they meant during the time the Constitution was written.  It is the earliest dictionary that I could find. The words most effected were democracy, republic welfare, and regulate.   

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

Thanks for sharing! I have no history education, I hated it in school and just did enough to pass. Now I don't know much. DH knows a lot and watches a lot of documentaries, so he ends up telling me stuff I can pass to the kids, or we have history talks sometimes as a family. I think once we get more toward our modern history, he will start teaching it more. We decided to start with ancients and I feel like we are stuck with it because I have this feeling that I need to do it in order. So we decided to just read SOTW Ancients and skip all the projects and additional reading for now so we can move forward.



TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Nov. 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

My kids are 10 and 11...late 4th grade-ish and early 7th grade-ish.

These are great resources, thank you so much!!


Quoting romacox:

Hi T JandkarasMom.  I do not know how old your children are.  But a lot of excellent little known American history  is told by Justice Joseph Story in his book, A Familiar Exposition Of The Constitution Of The United States..  It use to be a school textbook  He was a Supreme Court Justice, borne 3 years after the Declaration of Independence, and his father fought in the American Revolution. 

You will also want to use this free online dictionary, because many definitions are now the exact opposite of what they meant during the time the Constitution was written.  It is the earliest dictionary that I could find. The words most effected were democracy, republic welfare, and regulate.   

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

Thanks for sharing! I have no history education, I hated it in school and just did enough to pass. Now I don't know much. DH knows a lot and watches a lot of documentaries, so he ends up telling me stuff I can pass to the kids, or we have history talks sometimes as a family. I think once we get more toward our modern history, he will start teaching it more. We decided to start with ancients and I feel like we are stuck with it because I have this feeling that I need to do it in order. So we decided to just read SOTW Ancients and skip all the projects and additional reading for now so we can move forward.





romacox
by Silver Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM


Really it is my pleasure to be of help.  Thank you

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

My kids are 10 and 11...late 4th grade-ish and early 7th grade-ish.

These are great resources, thank you so much!!


Quoting romacox:

Hi T JandkarasMom.  I do not know how old your children are.  But a lot of excellent little known American history  is told by Justice Joseph Story in his book, A Familiar Exposition Of The Constitution Of The United States..  It use to be a school textbook  He was a Supreme Court Justice, borne 3 years after the Declaration of Independence, and his father fought in the American Revolution. 

You will also want to use this free online dictionary, because many definitions are now the exact opposite of what they meant during the time the Constitution was written.  It is the earliest dictionary that I could find. The words most effected were democracy, republic welfare, and regulate.   

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

Thanks for sharing! I have no history education, I hated it in school and just did enough to pass. Now I don't know much. DH knows a lot and watches a lot of documentaries, so he ends up telling me stuff I can pass to the kids, or we have history talks sometimes as a family. I think once we get more toward our modern history, he will start teaching it more. We decided to start with ancients and I feel like we are stuck with it because I have this feeling that I need to do it in order. So we decided to just read SOTW Ancients and skip all the projects and additional reading for now so we can move forward.







celticdragon77
by on Nov. 12, 2013 at 7:23 PM

History is such a huge scope with so many depths to explore. It seems like it would be very difficult to really teach in public schools. It is something (i presume) best done in ones personal time. That might be why you feel insecure in your education in this area. However, it is a fantastic one to share exploring with your children - whether homeschooling or not. 

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

Thanks for sharing! I have no history education, I hated it in school and just did enough to pass. Now I don't know much. DH knows a lot and watches a lot of documentaries, so he ends up telling me stuff I can pass to the kids, or we have history talks sometimes as a family. I think once we get more toward our modern history, he will start teaching it more. We decided to start with ancients and I feel like we are stuck with it because I have this feeling that I need to do it in order. So we decided to just read SOTW Ancients and skip all the projects and additional reading for now so we can move forward.


craftyzenmom
by Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 7:32 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank  you! You added another dimension for me to follow with my 5th/8th graders and the Colonies. We have never used the traditional text books for history. There are so many other options available...plus all three of my kids hate textbooks. Right now I'm loving C-Span in the Classroom. After I signed up as a teacher I get constant emails with lesson plans and video links. Last year they sent us a HUGE electoral college map for the wall, we used it for all sorts of activities. I often tie history to my Language Arts curriculum with novel units. For example, my 8th graders (twins) are reading "Animal Farm" right now and we're also studying the Russian Revolution alongside the book. I did the same thing with "The Book Thief" last year. 

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