Urban Ulster since 1600

Robert J. Morris

in Ulster Since 1600

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583119
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744822 | DOI:
Urban Ulster since 1600

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter spans four centuries of urbanisation in Ulster. During the Plantation towns were ‘central to the project of domination, legitimacy and economic development’. The linen industry was especially important to urban growth, though many other factors were also at work. Derry headed the urban hierarchy in 1659, but had fallen well behind Belfast by 1831. West Ulster was the least urbanised sub-region. Industrialization brought further changes, leading to Belfast's domination of the urban hierarchy. But the major urban centres failed to create a consensus as far as the urban order was concerned, with residential segregation and sporadic communal violence on a large scale being features of urban life. This was as true of Northern Ireland in the twenty-first century as it was of the Victorian period, only more so. The erection of additional ‘peace walls’ in Belfast was one of the ironic outcomes of the Good Friday Agreement.

Keywords: urbanisation; domination; legitimacy; urban hierarchy; segregation; slums; Good Friday Agreement; Belfast; reconciliation

Chapter.  9930 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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