The Slow Failure
Population Decline and Independent Ireland, 1920–1973
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Tables
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List of Abbreviations
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1. The Pathology of Irish Demographic History
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In 2004 the population of the Republic of Ireland was in excess of four million for the first time since 1871.1 The population of the island of Ireland is now at approximately the same figure as in the mid-1860s. Ireland2 is the only country in the developed world whose population is below the level of the mid-nineteenth century and the only country where reports on the census returns draw comparisons...
2. Saving Rural Ireland: 1920–1960
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The overwhelming majority of the “vanishing Irish” vanished from the countryside, and for this reason most studies of the Irish population since the famine have concentrated on rural Ireland.1 Yet most emigrants from Ireland settled in cities and towns in Britain and the United States, taking jobs in factories, on construction sites, or as service workers in hospitals, hotels, and private...
3. Marriages, Births, and Fertility: The Irish Family
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According to Tim Guinnane a discussion of Irish marriage patterns as they evolved after the famine, “forms a common starting point for exceptionalist views of Irish history.”1 In 1935 Roy Geary summarized the position as follows: “With the lowest marriage rate in the world and one of the higher fertility rates (births per marriage) the Saorstát2 achieves a more or less average birth...
4. The Irish State and Its Emigrants: 1922–1954
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Emigration prompted a variety of responses in independent Ireland. Politicians, churchmen, and some citizens gloried in Ireland’s large expatriate community, which gave the new state a degree of international recognition that was utterly disproportionate to its size,1 although the greatest affection was often reserved for second- or third-generation expatriates. It provided a...
5. The Vanishing Irish: 1954 –1961
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Only two European countries experienced a fall in population during the 1950s: Ireland and East Germany. Their common fate was noted in August 1961 when the preliminary results of the 1961 Irish census were published, just days after the East German government sealed off the crossings between East and West Berlin and began to erect the Berlin Wall to prevent the flow of...
6. 1961–1971: “A Worthy Homeland for the Irish People”?
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Many Irish people remember the 1960s as “the best of decades.”1 Economic growth brought higher living standards—new cars, better-equipped homes, even foreign holidays. Couples married in their early and mid-twenties rather than their late twenties and early thirties; there was a sharp rise in the number of marriages, and during the second half of the...
7. “A Ticket to London Is a Ticket to Hell”: Emigrants, Emigrant Welfare, and Images of Ireland
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Ireland’s relationship with the Irish community overseas was, and is, a complex matter. On the one hand, the Irish state and its people took pride in the large number of men and women of Irish birth or descent scattered throughout the world; it was widely believed that they enhanced Ireland’s international standing, and they were a valuable source of funds and influence for political...
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Further Reading, Back Cover
Page Count: 454
Publication Year: 2006
Series Title: History of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora