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Feast and FamineFood and Nutrition in Ireland 1500-1920$
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Leslie Clarkson and Margaret Crawford

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198227519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227519.001.0001

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Food, Municipalities, and the State

Food, Municipalities, and the State

(p.249) Chapter ten Food, Municipalities, and the State
Feast and Famine

L. A. Clarkson

E. Margaret Crawford

Oxford University Press

This chapter wonders why, since food was so important to life, there has not been more legislation touching its production and consumption. For decades municipalities intermittently used the assize of bread to regulate the price of a loaf of bread. In the 18th century, a series of acts of the Dublin parliament attempted to codify the assize into a national system, but the increasing complexity of the trade in grain, flour, and bread caused the collapse of the whole structure in the 1830s. Governments also concerned themselves with the quality of food. During periods of food shortages they attempted regulate the grain trade. Import and excise duties affected patterns of consumption. Famines, especially the Great Famine, prompted famine relief measures.

Keywords:   assize of bread, excise duties, famine relief, import duties, municipalities, parliament, trade

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