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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the manner in which policies of plantation grew out of, and in tandem with, other state-sponsored schemes to pacify and settle Ireland. As they evolved, plantation settlements were inevitably influenced by ‘colonial spread’ as settlers abandoned less desirable plantation sites to move to more attractive estates and prime locations. The geographical and ideological coherence which distinguished the planning of first the Munster and then the Ulster plantation thus rapidly dissolved under the pressure of economic reality. The New English community of Ireland was at the root of the structural instability of Early Modern Ireland. Rather than merging with existing interests they aspired to engross economic as well as political power. Plantation became their preferred vehicle to achieve this but with catastrophic effects for both the English state, which footed the bill for four ruinously expensive conquests in the long century after 1580, and for the pre-Plantation elites.

Keywords: plantation, colonial, settlement, confiscation, displacement

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