Industrial growth in Ireland, c.1790-1910
This thesis examines growth and decline trends in the Irish industrial sector between 1790 and 1910. It challenges existing perceptions of industrial decline in the nineteenth century; instead it argues that industrial output experienced growth during the period in question. Chapters have been written on brewing, distilling, engineering, shipbuilding, woollen, cotton and linen. An additional chapter has been written to cover some of the remaining industries (milling, food processing, tobacco, glass, tanning, paper). Each of these chapters provides a synthesis of research in each industry, in addition to some new research which has been done by the author on the business records of a number of industrial companies. Part of the research task was to bring together the available statistics in each industry; these have been extensively used to gain some idea of trends in each industry. A more macro perspective has been taken in the conclusion which contains two new estimates of industrial output in 1840-5 and 1907. The former is the first estimate of industrial output to be made for nineteenth century Ireland. A second objective of the thesis is to identify the major economic factors which led to the industrialisation of east Ulster while most of the remainder of the country failed to achieve significant industrial development during this period. This theme in particular is explored in the chapters on linen, shipbuilding, engineering and in the conclusion. A further objective of the thesis is to identify how much the extent, location and nature of each industry changed during the period in question. Earlier research on the Irish industrial sector has either concentrated on one region (particularly Ulster), or has only concentrated on one industry. This thesis is the first attempt to look at almost all of the industries which created added value on the island of Ireland.