Prices affect the living conditions of millions of people, hence their importance for an understanding of the past. This book historically examines what was, until relatively recently, the principal means of livelihood for the majority of the Ireland's population - agriculture. The book sheds light on some major controversies in Irish history, including the impact of the French wars, the significance of the Great Famine, and the origins of the Land War. The underlying data in this work, the product of more than ten years of archival research, are some 20,000 bimonthly price observations from the period 1755-1914 that have been processed into annual price series. The prices and price indices presented here furnish building blocks for historians and historically-minded social scientists engaged in writing Ireland's history. This work also opens the way to more systematic comparisons of Irish and European economic experiences, be it in terms of price inflation, living costs, market integration, or market disintegration.
Publication Date: 12/31/2007