Irish History Live

Economic Development in Ireland 1798-1921

Discussion of the nineteenth-century Irish economy is often dominated by the image of the Famine.  The emphasis is in many ways justified.  The catastrophic consequences of the failure of the potato crop are a powerful reminder of what was distinctive about Ireland in this period, and the horrors of the Famine left a long shadow.  But this was not the only element in the story of nineteenth-century economic development, a story that had postive as well as negative aspects and that forms an essential part of the background to any discussion of Irish society in this period. 
The presentation that follows looks at three closely related issues:  the development of the Irish economy in the era of the British-Irish union, as reconstructed and debated by economic historians;  the way in which the economy was perceived by Irish and British contemporaries and the political consequences of those perceptions;  and the policy responses of the British state, frequently adopted under pressure from Irish developments or agitation. [Download powerpoint presentation]


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