First published in 1975. Using estate records, local newspapers and parliamentary papers, this book focuses upon two central and interrelated subjects - the rural economy and the land question - from the perspective of Cork, Ireland's southernmost country. The author examines the chief responses of Cork landlords, tenant farmers and labourers to the enormous difficulties besetting them after 1815. He shows how the great famine of the late 1840s was in many ways an economic and social watershed because it rapidly accelerated certain previous trends and reversed the direction of others. He also rejects the conventional view of the land war of the 1880s, arguing that in Cork it was essentially a 'revolution of rising expectations', in which tenant farmers struggled to preserve their substantial material gains since 1850 by using the weapons of 'agrarian trade unionism', civil disobedience and unprecedented violence. This title will be of interest to students of rural history and historical geography.
During a Biblical seven years in the middle of the nineteenth century, Ireland experienced the worst disaster a nation could suffer. Fully a quarter of its citizens either perished from starvation or emigrated, with so many dying en route that it was said, "you can walk dry shod to America on their bodies." In this grand, sweeping narrative, Ireland''s best-known historian, Tim Pat Coogan, gives a fresh and comprehensive account of one of the darkest chapters in world history, arguing that Britain was in large part responsible for the extent of the national tragedy, and in fact engineered the food shortage in one of the earliest cases of ethnic cleansing. So strong was anti-Irish sentiment in the mainland that the English parliament referred to the famine as "God's lesson." Drawing on recently uncovered sources, and with the sharp eye of a seasoned historian, Coogan delivers fresh insights into the famine's causes, recounts its unspeakable events, and delves into the legacy of the "famine mentality" that followed immigrants across the Atlantic to the shores of the United States and had lasting effects on the population left behind. This is a broad, magisterial history of a tragedy that shook the nineteenth century and still impacts the worldwide Irish diaspora of nearly 80 million people today.
The study of Irish history, once riven and constricted, has recently enjoyed a resurgence, with new practitioners, new approaches, and new methods of investigation. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History represents the diversity of this emerging talent and achievement by bringing together 36 leading scholars of modern Ireland and embracing 400 years of Irish history, uniting early and late modernists as well as contemporary historians. The Handbook offers a set of scholarly perspectives drawn from numerous disciplines, including history, political science, literature, geography, and the Irish language. It looks at the Irish at home as well as in their migrant and diasporic communities. The Handbook combines sets of wide thematic and interpretative essays, with more detailed investigations of particular periods. Each of the contributors offers a summation of the state of scholarship within their subject area, linking their own research insights with assessments of future directions within the discipline. In its breadth and depth and diversity, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History offers an authoritative and vibrant portrayal of the history of modern Ireland.
In Between Raid and Rebellion, William Jenkins compares the lives and allegiances of Irish immigrants and their descendants in one American and one Canadian city between the era of the Fenian raids and the 1916 Easter Rising. Highlighting the significance of immigrants from Ulster to Toronto and from Munster to Buffalo, he distinguishes what it meant to be Irish in a loyal dominion within Britain’s empire and in a republic whose self-confidence knew no bounds. Jenkins pays close attention to the transformations that occurred within the Irish communities in these cities during this fifty-year period, from residential patterns to social mobility and political attitudes. Exploring their experiences in workplaces, homes, churches, and meeting halls, he argues that while various social, cultural, and political networks were crucial to the realization of Irish mobility and respectability in North America by the early twentieth century, place-related circumstances linked to wider national loyalties and diasporic concerns. With the question of Irish home rule animating debates throughout the period, Toronto's unionist sympathizers presented a marked contrast to Buffalo's nationalist agitators. Although the Irish had acclimated to life in their new world cities, their sense of feeling Irish had not faded to the degree so often assumed. A groundbreaking comparative analysis, Between Raid and Rebellion draws upon perspectives from history and geography to enhance our understanding of the Irish experiences in these centers and the process by which immigrants settle into new urban environments.
This pamphlet makes use of the most recent revisionist literature to reassess the view, much propagated by nationalist sources, that Ireland was a land of impoverished peasants oppressed by English laws and absentee English landlords. The land question has always been closely linked to the development of Irish national consciousness, and greatly exercised the minds of English politicians in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The author examines the nature of English understanding of Irish problems, which was often limited or ignorant, and attributes to it much of the unsound and ineffective ligislation passed. The book is concerned less with questions of English party politics than with the situation in Ireland itself and with the nature of the English response to it.
In recent years it has become commonplace to downplay notions of an industrial revolution and argue instead that Britain's transformation was gradual and incremental. In The Industrial Revolution and the Atlantic Economy Brinley Thomas contests this view, arguing that change in the energy base and hence in technology has enabled Britain to overcome an energy crisis and sustain dramatic population growth. Throughout these essays illustrate the organic approach to economic growth that Brinley Thomas pioneered.
Men and women who were born, grew up and died in Ireland between 1850 and 1922 made decisions - to train, to emigrate, to stay at home, to marry, to stay single, to stay at school - based on the knowledge and resources they had at the time. This, the first comprehensive social history of Ireland for the years 1850-1922 to appear since 1981, tries to understand that knowledge and to discuss those resources, for men and women at all social levels on the island as a whole. Original research, particularly on extreme poverty and public health, is supplemented by neglected published sources - local history journals, popular autobiography, newspapers. Folklore and Irish language sources are used extensively. All recent scholarly books in Irish social history are, of course, referred to throughout the book, but it is a lively read, reproducing the voices of the people and the stories of individuals whenever it can, questioning much of the accepted wisdom of Irish historiography over the past five decades. Statistics are used from time to time for illustrative purposes, but tables and graphs are consigned to the appendix at the back. There are some illustrations. An idea summary for the student, loaded with prompts for future research, this book is written in a non-cliched, jargon-free style aimed at the general reader.
"The strength of this volume cannot be conveyed by an itemisation of its contents; for what it provides is an incisive commentary on the newly-recognised landmarks of Irish agrarian history in the modern period. . . . The importance, even indispensability, of this achievement is compounded by exemplary editing."—Roy Foster, London Times Literary Supplement "As a whole, the volume demonstrates the wealth, complexity, and sophistication of Irish rural studies. The book is essential reading for anyone involved in modern Irish history. It will also serve as an excellent introduction to this rich field for scholars of other peasant communities and all interested in problems of economic and political developments."—American Historical Review "A milestone in the evolution of Irish social history. There is a remarkable consistency of style and standard in the essays. . . . This is truly history from the grassroots."—Timothy P. O'Neill, Studia Hibernica