American tourists witnessed ruthless 1880s Irish tenant farmer evictions

In the decades following Ireland’s Great Hunger, landlords showed little mercy on their tenant farmers and their families, who had just defied all odds with their survival. Instead, these landlords, many of them absentee, would hike rents without regard to circumstance or their tenants’ ability to pay, and then call upon authorities to have their tenants evicted. 

The Irish Land Wars, waged in response to these practices, were a two-decades-long campaign of civil resistance and unrest, as tenants refused to leave without putting up a fight, preventing the British constabulary from entering their homes with a variety of hard-scrabble tactics. 


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