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famine

Subject: History

May be defined as the occurrence of serious food shortages resulting in significant rises in the death rate. Mortality during famines was rarely caused solely by starvation but from ...

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A Dictionary of Environment and Conservation (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2017

... An acute shortage of food that leads to malnutrition and...

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
61 words

... Extreme prolonged shortage of food, produced by both natural and man-made causes. If it persists, famine results in widespread starvation and death. Famine is often associated with drought, or alterations in weather patterns, which leads to crop failure and the destruction of livestock. However, warfare and complex political situations resulting in the mismanagement of food resources are equally likely...

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The Oxford Companion to Irish History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
476 words

...weather produced devastating famine throughout Europe, exacerbated in the Irish case by Edward Bruce 's scorched earth policy. Heavy rains destroyed crops in 1330–1 and the price of wheat and oats rose manyfold. A century later in 1433 a severe famine led to ‘the summer of slight acquaintance’. In 1504–5 continual rain and storms ruined crops, and cattle disease decimated livestock. The 17th century was also heralded by bad weather, famine, and disease. The rising of 1641 ravaged crops and precipitated famine. Two famines in the 18th century, 1728–9 ...

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A Dictionary of the Bible (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Religion
Length:
162 words

... Prolonged starvation, of which the danger and horrors are often mentioned in the OT; it was one of the four acts of God's judgement in Ezekiel (5: 16) and it is one of the curses which God will send on the nation for disobedience (Deut. 28: 48). The best‐known famine in the OT is that in * Egypt when * Joseph administered the diminishing food supplies (Gen. 41). In the NT there was a famine which hit Jerusalem during the reign of Claudius Caesar (Acts 11: 28), and Paul and * Barnabas took aid to the * Christians there. The Roman authorities never...

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A Dictionary of Geography (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...to remain inactive in the face of severe famine threat. Howe and Devereux (2004) Disasters 28, 4 note that definitions of famine (including this one) tend to be vague, and propose new famine scales based on magnitude and/or intensity. www.fews.net The famine early warning systems...

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A Dictionary of Public Health (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...famine Extreme scarcity of accessible food supplies of the population of a country or region over an extended period, leading to hunger, malnutrition, starvation of those affected with deaths due to this among the most vulnerable members of the population, weanling children, and those who have pre-existing diseases, such as chronic infections. Many famines occur because of inequitable distribution rather than overall shortages of available food. Famine is a disaster requiring intervention and often external food aid. ...

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The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
152 words

...to press their leaders to resolve food crises before they became critical. The exaggerated references to ‘famine’ in the ancient sources echo the political rhetoric of an urban society where famine was a frequent threat but a rare experience. Local climatic variation meant that relief supplies were normally available within the region, given the political will to obtain them. Most famines were local, brief, and primarily man‐made. See food supply...

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
660 words

...between 1958 and 1962 . All the major famines of the last century were located in Asia, the USSR, or Africa, but, aside from the unusual case of North Korea, contemporary famine seems confined to Africa. Most debate over famine concerns its cause. Malthusian arguments attributing famine to natural disaster, crop failure, or overpopulation are less commonly made, although some commentators predict catastrophic famines for the mid-21st century induced by shortages of water, food, land, and energy. The idea that Food Availability Decline (FAD) is the prime...

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A Dictionary of British History (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
253 words

... may be defined as the occurrence of serious food shortages resulting in significant rises in the death rate. Mortality during famines was rarely caused solely by starvation but from related diseases like dysentery, typhoid, and typhus. What has been described as the worst famine in England in the last millennium occurred in 1315–18 , after a century of population growth. After the arrival of plague in 1348 , however, England's agrarian economy was able to feed its much reduced population, and famine mortality disappeared until population growth...

Famine

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Stephen WHEATCROFT

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
History
Length:
2,645 words

...twentieth centuries famine had always been associated with major epidemic diseases, often typhus. Relatively few people had died from starvation, because other epidemic diseases killed them first. This applied to the Great Irish Famine of 1847 , the Russian Famine of 1921–1922 , and the Bengal Famine of 1943 . But epidemic diseases have played a less important role in subsequent famines and especially in the Soviet Famine of 1931–1933 and the Chinese Famine of the Great Leap Forward, 1958–1961 . We are now in a new age of famine demography in which...

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Jeremy Boulton

The Oxford Companion to British History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
513 words

... may be defined as the occurrence of serious food shortages resulting in significant rises in the death rate. Mortality during famines was rarely caused solely by starvation but from related diseases like dysentery, typhoid, and typhus. Hence deaths from food shortages might occur some time after initial harvest failures. Increased migration out of famine-hit areas to towns and cities could also raise death rates since rural refugees often encountered diseases to which they had no immunity, or transmitted epidemics to urban dwellers. Vulnerability to famine...

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Dominic W. Rathbone

The Oxford Classical Dictionary (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Classical studies, History
Length:
327 words

...The exaggerated references to ‘famine’ in the ancient sources echo the political rhetoric of an urban society where famine was a frequent threat but a very infrequent experience. Local climatic variation meant that relief supplies were normally available within the region, given the political will to obtain them. The severe food-shortages over extensive areas of the eastern Mediterranean world attested in 328 bc , ad 45–7 , (the ‘universal famine’ of Acts 11: 28), and ad 500 were quite exceptional. Most famines were local, brief, and primarily...

Famine

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Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
6,382 words
Illustration(s):
2

...to create famine conditions. Notable Famines in the Modern World. From the 1750s on, famines disproportionately appeared and affected areas of the non-Western world. With industrialization and the unequal distribution of resources as a result of colonial expansion, Europe began to see fewer famines. In contrast, Asia has been most often associated with recurring and devastating famines. Among these areas, China and India are considered to have the highest rates of famine mortality in the world. But in the late twentieth century, famine rates in Asia...

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A Dictionary of African Politics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019

...famine A period of hunger and starvation generated by the unavailability or the unaffordability of food. While famines are typically triggered by natural disasters such as drought, they are often also the product of political and economic decisions about how to spend government resources and distribute national wealth. Sub-Saharan Africa has suffered a number of famines or acute food shortages that caused so much suffering that they came to international attention, including that caused by the impact of the Rinderpest Virus in the 1890s, which killed...

Famine

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Encyclopedia of Global Change

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Science and technology, Environmental Science, Social sciences, Environment
Length:
3,729 words
Illustration(s):
2

...fled the famine-torn nation for China. The model for the North Korean famine is the great Ukrainian famine of 1946–1947 under Stalin's rule and the Chinese Famine of 1959–1961 (or Mao's famine) during the Great Leap Forward, when political control prevented movement of refugees, external fact finders were denied entry into the country, and the state assumed control of famine amelioration activities. Because the world knew little of these two famines, they are called “silent” famines. This silent famine can also be termed a national “carpet” famine, for 90...

Famine

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The Oxford Companion to Global Change

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009

...the famine-torn nation for China. A precursor of the North Korean famine was the great Ukrainian famine of 1946–1947 (under Stalin's rule) and the Chinese famine of 1959–1961 (Mao's famine) during the “Great Leap Forward,” when political control prevented movement of refugees, external fact-finders were denied entry to the country, and the state assumed control of famine mitigation activities. Because the world knew little of these two famines, they too are called “silent.” The silent North Korean famine can also be termed a national “carpet” famine,...

Famine

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Arline GOLKIN-KADONAGA

Berkshire Encyclopedia of China

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

...Famine Jīhuāng 饥荒 ‎ Emaciated Chinese boy, a victim of famine . Historic photo dating to the early nineteenth century. Famine is a result of multiple political, economic, social, and ecological disorders that combine to produce an overwhelming number of deaths from starvation and epidemic disease. An examination of Chinese famines and Chinese official responses to famine conditions reveals universal features that apply to both traditional and modern times. Famine descriptions punctuate China’s historical records, with one survey noting that...

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The Oxford Companion to Medicine (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006
Subject:
Medicine and health
Length:
1,522 words

...therefore that all the conditions necessary to banish famines exist. Then why do famines persist? Our ability to respond to the threat of famine has increased dramatically, both at national and international levels. One of the best examples of national measures to overcome famine comes from India. Long subject to drought and famine, India now commands large strategic stocks of grain, thanks to improved agricultural production. This, combined with an admirably vigilant system of detecting early signs of famine, has rendered that scourge obsolete. In 1987 , when...

Famine

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The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
1,012 words

...in this regard, to explain the last significant famine of the twentieth century, the one that struck the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) after 1995 . (See also Development and Underdevelopment ; Equality and Inequality ; Food Politics .) Amartya Sen , Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (Oxford, 1981). Robert Conquest , Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (New York, 1986). Francis M. Deng and Larry Minear , The Challenges of Famine Relief (Washington, D.C., 1992). Jean Dreze ,...

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The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Local and Family History
Length:
746 words

...data are far inferior. In the 1840s Ireland experienced a disaster comparable in its effects to the Black Death. See Cormac Ó Gráda , Ireland before and after the Famine: Explorations in Economic History, 1800–1825 (1988) and Ireland's Great Famine: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2006) , P. M. Solor , ‘The Great Irish Famine Was No Ordinary Subsistence Crisis’, in E. M. Crawford (ed.), Famine: The Irish Experience, 900–1900 (1989) , and Frank Mitchell and Michael Ryan , Reading the Irish Landscape (rev. edn, 1997). See also Irish emigration ....

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