Land, Politics and Society in Eighteenth-Century Tipperary
Thomas P. Power
Oxford University Press
This scholarly study of Ireland during the eighteenth century is the first full-scale examination of an entire Irish county and is based on extensive and meticulous research. In it, Thomas Power sets out to reconstruct in detail the economic, social, and political history of Tipperary, Ireland's largest inland county. He examines the growing commercialization of the local economy, the changing composition of landed society, the dynamics of land tenure, and the emergence of long-term rural unrest and sectarian tension. The book makes a valuable contribution to current debates onthe nature of Irish social and economic development.
Power's meticulous study is the first full-scale history of an Irish county for this critical and formative period. Power makes exhaustive use of manuscript materials, and incorporates 17th-century background as well as discussion of 19th-century trends and patterns. He assumes a sophisticated knowledge of Irish history on the part of the reader and devotes his attention to a close analysis of economic development, patterns of income, expenditure, investment, indebtedness, land tenure, the changing make-up of landed society, sectarian conflict, and the origins of Tipperary's notorious rural unrest. Power's conclusions regarding the diversification and rapid commercialization of the county's economy, the diversity and change within its landed elite, the strategies by which landowners maintained their positions, and the political and social influence of Tiperary's Catholic families challenge important generalizations about Irish history.