This book analyses County Mayo in Ireland from the Elizabethan pacification of the county to the first stage of the Land War in the late nineteenth century. During those three centuries the county was transformed from being a remote, isolated, impoverished and hostile region of the country to being at the centre of Irish politics and integrated into an agrarian capitalist economy. The book is divided into two sections. The first contains an analysis of the county prior to the Great Famine, and provides the foundation for a core/periphery analysis of Mayo's economic development and its impact upon popular politics in the county. The second, employing a core/periphery analysis of the post-Famine economic and political transformation of the county, demonstrates that the structural changes that gave rise to the Land War occurred more rapidly in central Mayo than along its western coastline or eastern boundaries. This uneven development helps account for both the initial strength and rapid disintegration of the land movement in the county.
"...excellent study...It is thoughtful, thought-provoking, and well written. I have no doubt that other readers will find it as stimulating as I have." Samuel Clark, Albion "...this book makes a lucid and substantial contribution to several long-running debates on economic and social change in modern Ireland." Journal of Economic History "...[Jordan's] treatment of the period between the early 1850s and the Land War is admirable..." Times Lliterary Supplement "...a fine addition to the most vigorous sector of Irish historical writing of the present day: regional histories, or more accurately in the Irish context, county histories..." Donald Harman Akenson, Agricultural History "...it is the level of detail with which the themes are explored so concisely and clearly by Donald E. Jordan that marks a real advance. In addition, he makes an important revision to accepted views on some key issues...Jordan has with this book considerably advanced our understanding of the dynamics and processes of the Irish land struggle in the crucible county where it began." Histoire sociale