'The Grand Question Debated': Jonathan Swift, Army Barracks, Parliament and Money

Title: 'The Grand Question Debated': Jonathan Swift, Army Barracks, Parliament and Money
Authors: McGrath, Charles Ivar
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8654
Date: 2016
Abstract: Jonathan Swift made a name for himself in England in the years 1710-14 taking issue in print with, among other things, Standing Armies, the British National Debt and Westminster MPs who seemed too willing to vote new taxes at the behest of the Whitehall government. After more than a decade of silence on such subjects, Swift re-visited them in the late 1720s and early 1730s in relation to Ireland as part of his more general expression of anger at what was, in his eyes, fundamentally wrong with Hanoverian government in the British Isles. This article assesses his reasons for doing so, commencing with a detailed consideration of the 1728 Poem, 'The Grand Question debated: Whether Hamilton's Bawn should be turned into a Barracks or a Malt-House'. It then proceeds to examine in a series of other works by Swift up to 1733 the key emerging themes of government patronage of MPs in return for the voting of additional taxation and increases to the national debt and the expenditure of that increased income on the military, in particular for the building of a country-wide network of army barracks in Ireland. In so doing the article looks to address the place of such matters in Ireland, and how they help us better understand the nature of Irish society at that time.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Eighteenth-Century Ireland
Keywords: Military spending;Ireland;Satire
Subject LCSH: Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:History Research Collection

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