The Economic Development of Ireland in the Twentieth Century

The Economic Development of Ireland in the Twentieth Century

The Economic Development of Ireland in the Twentieth Century

The Economic Development of Ireland in the Twentieth Century

Synopsis

This book examines Irish economic development in the twentieth century compared with other European countries. It traces the Republic's economoy from its separation from Britain in the early 1920s through to the present day.

Excerpt

Like many other features of Irish history, the economic development of Ireland has been profoundly affected by the neighbouring and larger island of Great Britain. British involvement in Ireland began as early as the twelfth century, with the Norman invasion of 1169, but it was not until the seventeenth century that the conquest was complete. With the termination in 1800 of its largely subordinate parliament, Ireland became an integral part of the United Kingdom under the Act of Union. Independence was achieved under a Treaty signed in London on 6 December 1921, which accorded dominion status to the Irish Free State comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland. The other six counties, known as Northern Ireland, remained part of the United Kingdom, with limited devolved government.

Our study is primarily concerned with the period since independence, and with the part of Ireland that became independent. In this introductory chapter, however, we examine the state of the economy in the country as a whole on the eve of independence, and how that state was reached. Section 1.1 describes the economic process leading up to that point in terms of three key elements: population, land, and industry. Section 1.2 compares the level and rate of economic progress achieved prior to independence with those of other European countries. The chapter concludes with an outline of the remainder of the study.

1.1 POPULATION, LAND, AND INDUSTRY

The population of all Ireland in 1921 was 4,354,000, of which

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