South Munster

James G. Patterson

in In the Wake of the Great Rebellion

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780719076930
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700822 | DOI:
South Munster

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter illustrates the socio-economic background of South Munster. Cork city was the vibrant heart of the highly commercialized south Munster region. The second largest city of Ireland had successfully established itself as a key port for provisions in the north Atlantic trade network. The driving force behind this process of commercialization was a combination of improving landlords and an interwoven stratum of merchants, shippers and agricultural middlemen. Consecutively, the rapid expansion of market capitalism created strong internal trade links between Cork city and the surrounding agricultural districts. An important result of commercialization was the tripartite division of rural society into predominantly Protestant upper class gentry of landowners, a largely Catholic middling order of farmers and cattlemen. It is exactly this type of advanced economic region, centred on a cosmopolitan city, which is associated with the emergence of radical republicanism in Ireland in the 1790s.

Keywords: South Munster; socio-economic background; Cork city; north Atlantic trade network; market capitalism

Chapter.  13332 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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