By Samuel Clark, James S. Donnelly

"The energy of this quantity can't be conveyed by way of an itemisation of its contents; for what it presents is an incisive remark at the newly-recognised landmarks of Irish agrarian background within the glossy interval. . . . the significance, even indispensability, of this success is compounded via exemplary editing."—Roy Foster, London instances Literary Supplement

"As an entire, the amount demonstrates the wealth, complexity, and class of Irish rural reports. The publication is vital studying for an individual eager about smooth Irish heritage. it's going to additionally function an outstanding creation to this wealthy box for students of different peasant groups and all attracted to difficulties of monetary and political developments."—American ancient Review

"A milestone within the evolution of Irish social historical past. there's a extraordinary consistency of favor and conventional within the essays. . . . this can be really historical past from the grassroots."—Timothy P. O'Neill, Studia Hibernica

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Additional info for Irish Peasants: Violence and Political Unrest, 1780-1914

Sample text

30 THE TRADITION OF VIOLENCE Britain's swelling food requirements became the main driving force behind the extension of the area devoted to corn crops in Ireland, an extension that persisted in all likelihood right up to the great famine. It was in the late eighteenth century, then, that there began a historic shift from pastoral to tillage commodities within the Irish agricultural economy. British needs were the primary determinant of the shift, encouraging within Ireland the growth of population, the subdivision of holdings, and the transformation of the agrarian class structure.

17 These disturbances constituted an important turning point in the history of Irish rural protest and in the official response to it. Well over 200 persons lost their lives in fighting or demonstrating against the implementation of the militia act of 1793. In the succession of agrarian rebellions that punctuated the three decades from 1760 to 1790, the insurgents had been far more cautious of sacrificing themselves in battles or skirmishes with the forces of the crown. By the same token military parties and the magistrates who led them had been far less inclined to inflict lethal gunfire on crowds and agrarian bands.

R. B. Rose, "Tax revolt and popular organization in Picardy, 1789-91" in Past & Present, no. 43 (May 1969), pp. 92-108. DICKSON: Taxation and Disaffection 39 a land tax, imposed in 1697-8, was to remain the only major eighteenthcentury direct exaction by the state. Even this charge fell only on landlords, at rates that were not adjusted during the century. Excise taxes, which had expanded rapidly after their introduction in 1644, rose more modestly in relation to national income during the eighteenth century.

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