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The Politics of HungerProtest, Poverty and Policy in England, c. 1750-c. 1840$
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Carl J. Griffin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526145628

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526145635

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Telling the hunger of ‘distant’ others

Telling the hunger of ‘distant’ others

(p.207) 6 Telling the hunger of ‘distant’ others
The Politics of Hunger

Carl J. Griffin

Manchester University Press

Hunger was not just understood directly but something mobilised and mediated through the plight of distant others. In particular, the devastating famines of 1840s Ireland and India were critical in shaping political languages of hunger in the Empire as a whole as well amongst the people of Britain. This chapter explores not the central governmental response to these famines – though this provides a critical context – but instead examines popular responses to the hunger of distant others in the 1840s. In so doing, chapter six examines both the discourses of response (and how these helped to shape understandings of hunger) as well as schemes to relieve famine and the distant hungry. It is argued that against the ideologically-driven official governmental response to these different famines, those who were only one act of misfortune away from being incarcerated in the workhouse and only one or two generations away from experiencing absolute hunger were quick to respond setting up collections and relief schemes. It acknowledges that the popular politics of hunger were not bound by the body or borders but were rooted in the uneven contours of solidarity and reciprocity.

Keywords:   Irish Famine, Hunger, Hungry 40s, Imagined communities, Humanitarianism, Chartism, Anti-Corn Law League

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