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Ulster Since 1600Politics, Economy, and Society$
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Liam Kennedy and Philip Ollerenshaw

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583119.001.0001

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Education since the Late Eighteenth Century

Education since the Late Eighteenth Century

(p.211) 13 Education since the Late Eighteenth Century
Ulster Since 1600

N. C. Fleming

Oxford University Press

Modernising and democratising societies require mass literacy. The nineteenth century was an age of state initiatives for education of the people. By 1900 Ireland had levels of basic literacy and numeracy that were comparable to those of leading societies elsewhere in the world. There were also limited advances in relation to secondary and university education but education was a continuing site of conflict between the British state (and later on the statelet of Northern Ireland) and the major denominations. The churches were also in conflict with each other over access to young minds. Each sought a monopolistic position in relation to the doctrinal formation of its adherents. Segregation or ‘benign apartheid’ was, and still is, the order of the day. To use D.H. Akenson's resonant phrase, this meant that ‘education and enmity’ co-existed at the very heart of the already divided society of Northern Ireland.

Keywords:   education, literacy, numeracy, modernising, schools, university, segregation, enmity, denomination, apartheid

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