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English Colonization of Ireland

British colonialism has a long history of exploitation of conquered lands and indigenous peoples. British wealth and power, many maintain, was built on the backs of exploited labor and exploited natural resources in lands colonized by the British. If we look at the English colonization of Ireland we can see that such charges are not altogether exaggerated by those who make them. The English colonization of Ireland proves that English governments have often crushed an indigenous peoples effort to be independent through any force necessary if those peoples possessed something the British government felt it had a right to take.

While the colonization of Ireland by the British did not begin until the 17th century, for centuries British monarchs has unsuccessfully been trying to subdue Ireland. However, in 1603 the Ulster Irish finally surrendered to Lord Mountjoy and nine counties in northern Ireland would become available for colonization. For the Irish, colonization by the British was a disaster, especially for poor Catholic Irish. Once colonization took firm root in Ireland, the British rapidly depleted Irish resources. So, too, unfair plantation arrangements left many poor working Irish starving. Such conditions would be heavily satirized by Jonathon Swift’s A Modest Proposal. As one historian notes of the conditions in Ireland that Proposal illustrates: “Under colonial rule by England, the majority of Ireland’s resources were exported, leaving the Irish poor and staving with little room for choice or opportunity. Ireland’s sons and daughters left their green isle because they were enterprising and adventurous to seek larger opportunities elsewhere, but many had no choice, except the choice between starvation and emigration” (Ashford 1).

This analysis will discuss the period of colonization of Ireland by the British from 1580-1640. During this period of time different strategies and tactics of resistance were...

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English Colonization of Ireland. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 06:40, February 19, 2017, from