Quality of Life and Modernization in Nineteenth-Century Ireland
|Jordan, Thomas E.
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In this work, the uncertainties of social change across the nineteenth century are evident. Changes occurred in the natural order with the rhythm of the seasons and with the calamitous failure of the potato crop in 1845. Change in the realm of ideas began with Daniel O’Connell’s campaign for the emancipation of the majority Catholic population. After 1829, his efforts to repeal the Act of Union evolved into the Home Rule Campaign which continued into the twentieth century.
In the social domain, especially after 1850, there were important changes in the size of the population as clearance and emigration reduced the population. The quality of housing improved, literacy rose, and the proportion of monolingual Irish speakers declined.
The author’s quality of life index, based on census data, demonstrates the processes of social change. The quality of life index, calculated for each of Ireland’s thirty-two counties, is applied to examine the physical condition of a sample of young men.
With the matrix of life across the nineteenth century, the work presents a picture of Irish people exploring Ireland. Examples are the censuses at intervals of a decade, the Ordnance Survey, the Templemore Memoir, and the development of railways. Mechanisms of change include the famine, land clearance, emigration, and education.
The rate of change in contemporary Ireland is surely dramatic, but it would be a mistake to think that it is unprecedented. The useful studies collected here remind us that the people of Ireland have, in fact, been negotiating with modernization for at least the past two centuries ... and in these chapters, we find an artfully drawn portrait of a society in the midst of profound social change ...” – James Silas Rogers, New Hibernia Review
Table of Contents
Tables, Figures and Illustrations
2. Exploring the Natural and Social Orders
3. Two Perspectives
4. Quality of Life and the Ecology of Growth
5. Modernity, Quality of Life, and Change
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