How was Ireland modernised in the period 1534-1750

explanatory Essay
1997 words
1997 words

To undertake a full thematic investigation of this period would be very much beyond the scope of this paper. Thus, the essay will embark on a high level chronological interpretation of some of the defining events and protagonists, which influenced the early modernization of Ireland during the period 1534-1750. The main focus of the paper will concentrating on the impact and supervision of the Tudor dynasty. Firstly, the essay will endeavour to gain an understanding as to what contemporary historians accept as being the concept of modernization during this time period. The paper will then continue by examine the incumbent societal and political structure of Ireland prior to the Tudor conquests. This will have the impact of highlight the modernising effects produced by the subsequent attempts by the Tudors to consolidate and centralise power in the hands of the State. Once more, due to the vast nature of the time period, not every modernizing effect can be examined. Therefore, the paper will concentrate on the modernization of the political landscape, land ownership and the impact this had on the geographic construct of the island. Most contemporary historians define the European early modern period from around the beginning of the sixteenth century, up until the commencements of the French Revolution of 1789. The ambiguity inherent in this apparent catch-all period is problematic, and invokes much debate and disagreement among historians. For the purpose of expediency, this paper will have its modernizing genesis in the thoughts of Mitchell Greenberg writing in the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies. Greenberg states there was a common modernizing compulsion right across Europe during this time period ‘…marked by both a gen... ... middle of paper ... ...wn to 4,000 acres. The undertakers, mostly landowners from England and Wales, were bound by gain, to plant ninety families that would constitute the full gambit of the English ‘social pyramid’. They also undertook not to lease to Native Irish. Success fell far short of ambitions. The grants proved too enormous for on undertaker to supervise and much of the New English planters never materialised. As a consequence, and the willingness of the Irish tenancy to pay higher rents, most of the displaced native Irish returned to the land. This had the unforeseen modernising effect of placing the Gaelic Irish into the newly created English social structure. As a result of the vast military activity all over the island, huge areas of impenetrable terrain was opened up. This had the knock on effect of improving travel, communications and trade over the majority of the island.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the essay will focus on the impact and supervision of the tudor dynasty and examine the incumbent societal and political structure of ireland prior to the conquests.
  • Analyzes the ambiguity inherent in the european early modern period, which invokes debate and disagreement among historians.
  • Explains that the political and social power structure in ireland at the beginning of the sixteenth century was utterly fragmented.
  • Explains that ireland, at the beginning of our time period, consisted of a multitude of differing and warring feudal factions and lordships. the implied binary dichotomy is problematic.
  • Explains that gaelic culture and language permeated two thirds of the island, but there were clear and distinguishable differences.
  • Explains that the abolition of arbitrary support was central to the tudor reforms, and would prove to be the major modernizing process on the island of ireland.
  • Explains that the english pale, and the surrounding lordships of kildare, desmond and ormond had the effect of ‘insulating the lordship’ from the gaelic territories.
  • Explains how st. leger's pragmatic and conciliatory approach worked, with clans willingly acquiescing to the sovereignty of the tudor state, english civility and common law.
  • Explains that in the wake of the munster rising of 1579 to 1583, vast tracts of land were confiscated and organised for plantation by the state.

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