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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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People and Population Change, 1600–1914

People and Population Change, 1600–1914

(p.58) 4 People and Population Change, 1600–1914
Ulster Since 1600

Liam Kennedy

Kerby A. Miller

Brian Gurrin

Oxford University Press

Ulster was a thinly-populated, war-torn province in 1600. Two centuries later east Ulster was one of the most densely populated regions of Ireland and the province's share of the population of the island as a whole had expanded markedly. The key to these dramatic changes seems to have been a unique combination of factors centering on property rights, the presence of a semi-open ‘frontier’, the innovation of the potato, and changing market conditions affecting both the linen industry and agriculture. This new model of population growth may also help explain the population explosion in Ireland generally in the later eighteenth century. The religious demography of Ulster has political as well as demographic implications, though it is worth noting that the proportion of Protestants in Ulster varied substantially through time, in part because of differential emigration and in part because of economic change.

Keywords:   population, demography, religion, population explosion, protestants, catholics, linen, Ulster

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