Friday, 19 November 2010

The Plantation of Ulster (1605-1625) - Tilly Hyndman (Historical Elements assignment)

King James I was responsible for the plantation of Ulster. As early as 1603, he had given lands in Co. Down to Scottish protestants. This prepared the way for the plantation of Armagh, Coleraine, Cavan, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone, known as the Plantation of Ulster. Each portion in the plantation was given a parish in the established church, and was also to have a royal school for the education of young men, who it was hoped would go on to Trinity College Dublin to train as protestant ministers. The university was also given a grant of land to ensure economic viability.

The plantation brought many changes to Ulster. It resulted in increased population, which in turn meant the creation of new towns and villages, as well as schools and industries. The new settlers brought new surnames and customs to Ireland, and the protestant faith was greatly strengthened.

Apart from the obvious religious history aspect due to the establishment of the protestant religion in Ireland, this topic also demonstrates elements of social and economic history. The majority of new settlers lived in rural areas, and farming formed the mainstay of the plantation economy, much like rural Ireland today. They did however manage to build up towns, although growth was slow due to inadequate economic resources. As time went on, they began trading any extra produce they had, and eventually began importing and exporting goods.

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