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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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Fiscal and Monetary Integration, 1790–1820

Fiscal and Monetary Integration, 1790–1820

(p.43) 3 Fiscal and Monetary Integration, 1790–1820
Ireland: A New Economic History 1780–1939

Cormac Ó Gráda

Oxford University Press

In the 18th century, the story of the economy of Ireland is a tale of ever-closer links with that the economy of Britain. Trade with the neighbouring island increased fourfold in real terms between 1700 and 1780, while trade with the rest of the world rose by less than half. Commodity flows were complemented by factor flows; labour and capital moved in both directions almost without restriction. The Irish monetary system had strong ties with London. In the monetary field, the amalgamation of the Irish and English pounds was preceded by two decades of floating exchange rates between Dublin, London, and, for a time, Belfast. Similarly Britain's share in Irish foreign trade declined after 1780, though wartime conditions drove it to a new high by 1800. Full economic and monetary integration, then, followed some years of mild economic divergence. This chapter discusses some of the associated controversies, focusing on legislation, the old Irish pound, depreciation and the policies of the Bank of Ireland, private banking before 1820, and the short reign of the Ulster pound in c.1797–1810.

Keywords:   Ireland, Britain, economy, pound, depreciation, monetary system, Bank of Ireland, private banking, monetary integration, floating exchange rates

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