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Making Modern Ireland: Famine to Free State (1850-1920)

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Making Modern Ireland: Famine to Free State (1850-1920)

<p>Amid political, social and economic upheaval, a new consciousness among Irish people enlivened their sense of nationhood and empowered both constitutional and radical elements, defining modern

...

Amid political, social and economic upheaval, a new consciousness among Irish people enlivened their sense of nationhood and empowered both constitutional and radical elements, defining modern Ireland.

SUGGESTED READING

  • R F Foster, Oxford History of Ireland, Oxford 1989 / R F Foster, Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland, Oxford 1989
  • T W Moody and F X Martin eds, The Course of Irish History, 4th edn Dublin, Mercier 2013
  • J Cleary and C Connolly, The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture, Cambridge 2005
  • O MacDonagh, The Sharing of the Green: Irish History for Australians Sydney, Allen & Unwin 1996


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Famine – Around 1850: Population having doubled in a century, successive failures of the potato crop 1845-52 more than halved national food production, killing and driving away millions. Political and fiscal policy played their part with devastating effects on the ground. Where to next?
  • Home Rule – From 1850 to 1870: Ireland after the Famine witnessed ‘the Scattering’ as immense changes in land occupation and ownership and social relations altered the fabric of Irish society. Agrarian agitation in the 1850s forced the pace for change at home. The Irish experiment with the idea of nation. What were the choices?
  • Home Rule – From 1870 to 1890: Government tried to pacify Ireland by numerous reforms, but Irish nationalism re-mobilised at their fitful nature, and outright war erupted between owners and occupiers. Nationhood focused on Home Rule. Cultural life, rich and varied, seemed quiescent. How quiet?
  • Gaelic Revival: Political and economic prospects being grim, Irish men and women turned inward, to poetry, song, dance and games. Politics and economics seem to carry on independently. Were they so dis-connected?
  • Literary Revival: The Irish Literary Revival (‘Celtic Twilight’) led by Yeats, Gregory and Synge occurred in high-level English, though it coincided with industrialisation, unionisation and the spread of rival political and neo-military ‘parties’. Were they related?
  • Ireland’s English Question: Parnell’s Home Rule movement, having incited the rise of Orange militancy, collapsed. While politicians floundered, Gaelic exponents in constitutional and revolutionary groups rode the wave of an ‘Irish Ireland’ to provoke further reforms. What was the result?
  • Cultural Politics, Political Culture: Cultural life enabled political revival, too, and Home Rule reached its zenith as World War I began. Inspired by Literary and Gaelic Revivals, a new generation of radical-idealists stage the Easter Rising of 1916. Why stage a 'Poet’s Rising'?
  • Ireland by around 1920: British responses weld Irish public opinion against the Union, thrusting radicals into the forefront. With the Treaty of 1921, an Irish Free State begins to build a nation while Partition divides Ireland geographically. The tide of emigration did not abate during the cultural revolution though it did enable its spread throughout the world. Australia too?


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course students should be able to:

  1. Explain the political, social and economic movements in Ireland from Famine to Free State
  2. Discern the cultural elements at play in political, social and economic action and development