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Ireland: A New Economic History 1780–1939$
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Cormac Gráda Ó

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205982.001.0001

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Farming, Commercialization, and Convergence, 1850–1914

Farming, Commercialization, and Convergence, 1850–1914

(p.255) 11 Farming, Commercialization, and Convergence, 1850–1914
Ireland: A New Economic History 1780–1939

Cormac Ó Gráda

Oxford University Press

The period 1850–1914 has been the main target of the ‘new history’ of Irish tenurial relations. If the gist of Barbara Solow's influential study of the Land War was that the protracted struggle that began in 1879 was unnecessary, W. E. Vaughan's assessment went further, considering its outbreak a fluke, and its outcome at best a draw from the tenants' standpoint. Further, it is claimed, landlord exploitation cannot explain the origins of the Land War, nor can it be proved that the tenants won the battles of 1880–82 or 1887–90. In the short run at least, a coalition of tough landlords fought tenants to a draw in the Plan of Campaign (1886–91). Worse still, according to Solow, the Land War put an end to landlord investment and distracted farmers from the business of farming. This chapter takes a look at agriculture and land tenure in Ireland from 1850 to 1914, focusing on agricultural output and agricultural productivity and the commercialization of the economy.

Keywords:   Ireland, Land War, Barbara Solow, agriculture, land tenure, agricultural output, agricultural productivity, commercialization, economy, farming

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