Socio-economic Conditions In 18th Century Ireland

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 8 times

Paper Topic 1: Ireland, England and Swift.

Early in the 18th century turmoil began to brew in Ireland. A series of rulings in the British house of Parliament took more and more control out of the hands of the Irish. Britain passed laws and instituted practices that were highly lucrative to it self yet immensely damaging to the people of its colonies (Colley 213). A number of political and intellectual figures began to speak out on the atrocities enacted upon the people of their homelands. Countless satirists took it upon themselves to initiate awareness of the conditions and havoc, if not a total social revolution.

Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist and political pamphleteer who today is considered one of the greatest masters of English prose. He was also one of the most impassioned satirists of human absurdity and pretension. In addition, his many pamphlets, letters, and poetry were all characterized by an economical and effective use of language (Norfolk npg).

Swift's religious and political viewpoints had a profound influence on his work. Swift followed the usual course open to young men who were poor and had great ability: he sought a career in the Church, the Church of England. It was through the Church that he became involved in politics (Read npg). In the early eighteenth century in England, religion and politics were closely connected areas of concern.

Although fundamentally a Whig, Swift differed from his party on many important issues. Swift was still very much of a Whig both in political theory (Read npg). However, in 1710 a Tory government came to power in England, and Swift was quickly won over by it (Quigley npg). What happened to change Swift's position? Swift was also a most devoted churchman. Increasingly, he had come to feel that the policies of...