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A New History of IrelandEarly Modern Ireland 1534-1691$
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T. W. Moody, F. X. Martin, and F. J. Byrne

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562527

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562527.001.0001

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Economic Trends, 1660–91

Economic Trends, 1660–91

(p.387) Chapter XVEconomic Trends, 1660–91
A New History of Ireland

L. M. Cullen

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes Ireland's economy in the 17th century. The outstanding feature of urban development in the 17th century was the emerging predominance of Dublin. In addition the growth of certain towns relative to others reflects the introduction of a novel dynamic consequent on the expansion of trade. The butter trade was the main factor contributing to the buoyancy of Ireland's external trade. The other main support of the economy after the passing of the cattle acts was the export trade in wool. Control of the wool trade in so far as the prohibition of continental markets was concerned was, however, on the mercantilist principle of discouraging exports of vital raw materials, to Ireland's advantage as well as being in England's interest. Economic destruction, apart from livestock losses, was limited and even livestock losses must be assessed in the context of the alarming distemper appearing in 1688. In consequence of reduced livestock numbers the recovery of the export trade was slow when peace returned in 1691.

Keywords:   Ireland's economy, urban development, trade, wool, livestock, export trade

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