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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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Women in Ulster, 1600–1800

Women in Ulster, 1600–1800

(p.43) 3 Women in Ulster, 1600–1800
Ulster Since 1600

Mary O’Dowd

Oxford University Press

Some have entertained the belief that early modern Gaelic society conferred substantial rights on women. This could hardly be farther from the truth. In aristocratic Gaelic circles women were used ruthlessly as pawns in political alliances and other manoeuvres. The status of women at the lower levels of society also seems to have been low relative to men. While patriarchal relationships persisted after the Plantation of Ulster, they took new forms. Some women actually benefited in terms of property rights relative to men. Economic change in the eighteenth century, in particular the development of proto-industry, opened up opportunities for poorer women but it is notable that women did not feature at all in the public political sphere before 1800.

Keywords:   women, gender, property, rights, patriarchy, aristocracy, plantation of ulster, marriage

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