A History of the Commercial and Financial Relations Between England and Ireland; From the Period of the Restoration

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Business & Economics - 292 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1907. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XVI. THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF IRELAND DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. General Survey--Irish Commerce and Industry--Economic Condition of the Irish People from the Union to the Famine--Their Condition since the Famine. The economic history of Ireland during the nineteenth century divides itself naturally into two periods, the famine of 1846 and 1847 forming the dividing line. Prior to the famine the population steadily increased and the conditions of life among the mass of the people grew from bad to worse. Just when the poverty and misery of the Irish people had reached the height so graphically described to us in the report of the Devon Commission, the failure of the potato crop, on which the majority of the population entirely depended for their mere existence, led to thousands of deaths by starvation and the commencement of the period of emigration which is still continuing. The net result of this process of emigration combined with the ravages during the famine has been a decrease in the population from eight millions to under four and a half. The greatest diminution took place from the famine to the middle of the sixties; the rate of decrease then diminished, and in 1877 there was even a slight rise in the numbers of the people. But the decade 1881--91 showed a large increase of diminution, which, however, has fallen in the last decade 1891--19o1.1 For a long time after the famine 1 The rates of decrease in the Irish population have been as follows: --1841--51.. 19'8 per cent. See Grimshaw, "Facts and Figures about Ireland," p. 8, and also the Irish Census of 1901. HISTORY OF COMMERCIAL RELATIONS. 343 the condition of the Irish peasants did not improve, but by 1885 the earnings of agricultural labourers, which forty years before had averaged f...

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