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The French Revolution. The Union with Ireland



The end of the 18th century was full of stormy political events in Europe; the most important of them for Britain were the French Revolution and the Irish rebellion.

The French Revolution began with the storming of the old prison - the Bastille in 1789 by the poor layers of the French population. The French King was captured and France was declared a republic. Soon the revolutionary ideas affected British society, which divided into supporters and critics of the Revolution.

Though British government was afraid that French Revolution could cause serious discontent in Britain, it made little influence on England, Scotland and Wales, but Ireland was affected greatly. Revolution in France and successful American Revolution encouraged the Irish struggle for independence. It was a result of anti-Catholic policy of British government and the Protestant Parliament in Dublin. According to the laws passed by the Parliament Catholics could not vote and become members of the Dublin Parliament, they could not go to university or join the land. All this made Catholics second-class citizens in their own land.

In 1791, the Society of United Irishmen was formed in Belfast to fight for complete separation and independence from Britain. Wolfe Tone, the leader of the movement, called for universal suffrage and the abolition of the official Anglican Church.

In 1798, the movement spread all over Ireland and caused the mass rebellion. The rebellion was unsuccessful — its leaders and active participants were captured and sentenced to death. The Dublin Parliament was dissolved. Finally the British Parliament passed the Act of Union, which came into effect in 1801. This act provided the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which lasted for 120 years, until 1921 when the independent Irish Republic was formed.

Task 6. Add the details. The Act of Union restricted economic and political development of Ireland for more than a century. Study the scheme representing the main measures taken by the British government and add the information to the text.

 

Economy   Politics
     
Irish customs duties were abolished and free trade was introduced   The Irish parliament was dissolved
         
Irish goods were no longer protected by tariffs, so they were replaced by British goods   Only Protestants could be sent to the British Parliament
     
The Irish industry was destroyed by the competition with the British industry   Protestants got a privileged position in the mainly Catholic society
     
Severe economic crisis led to mass immigration and poverty   Tension between Irish Catholics and Protestants led to further struggle

Social and Cultural Life in the 18th Century



The 18th century for Britain was a time of great social changes, which were followed up with changes in politics, economy and science.

The Agrarian Revolution,which made the enclosures legal and increased agricultural production was not of great benefit to poor peasants, who lost their lands and had to look for other occupations. The system, when each parish was responsible for its poor (it was introduced in the 16th century), in the 18th century developed into the system of parish workhouses. In the parish workhouse poor people lived and were fed. Sometimes, when local businessmen needed cheap labour, they hired local inhabitants, who worked for some food. This shameful system, when children worked together with adults, was no better than slavery.

The Industrial Revolution was made not only with the help of modern inventions, but also due to immense flood of cheap labour provided by the Agrarian Revolution. Peasants, who migrated to manufactures, often lived in awful conditions, they were subjected to different diseases, which at that time often grew to epidemics.

Constant growth of towns in the 18th century made their inhabitants responsible for living conditions — beginning from the middle of the century, many towns had street cleaning and lighting systems.

Cultural lifein the 18th century was marked by revival of theatre and drama, which began to develop after the revolution of the 17th century. The Augustan Age gave birth to such well-known playwrights as Richard Sheridan, Oliver Goldsmith and David Garrick. They showed the bad ,sides of contemporary society, giving the way to the "human comedy" of a democratic theatre.

The 18th century was the age of classicism in art and architecture. The idea of the "antique" was believed to be the sign of wealth and power. The principles of classicism were applied in town planning and country house design. Antique art was widely studied and paid great attention to.

English painting of the period is represented by brilliant artists William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and William Blake. The most outstanding names in literature were Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Jonathan Swift. Very popular was also the Enlightenment movement whose participants believed in the primary role of education, which can remodel society and transform the individual.

Task 7. Finish the sentences.

1.The 18th century in Britain saw another "Hundred Years War" — the wars were carried ...

2.The end of the War of the Spanish Succession gave Britain ...

3.The age of Queen Anne is called "Augustan Age" — the age of prosperity, because ...

4.The hostility and enmity between England and Scotland were the result of different factors: ...

5.The main purpose of the Act of Union was ...

6.The Hanover Dynasty was started by ...

7.King George let the Cabinet Government System shape because ...

8.The reign of George II was marked by two success,ve wars against France — the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Yi ars War. These wars were successful for Britain — ...

9.The special laws, which regulated the economic organisation of the Empire shaped the trading triangle — ...

10.George III actively participated in British political life with the help of..., who ...

11.The severe economic measures taken by the British Parliament against American colonies included ...

12.As the result of the War of Independence in American colonies, Britain ...

13.The policy of personal government provided by George III showed ...

14.The main causes of the Industrial Revolution were ...

15.The main changes caused by the Industrial Revolution in Britain were ...

16.The Union with Ireland was the result of...

17.The movement of Enlightenment was aimed at...

Task 8. Vocabulary development. State the meaning of the derivatives and complete the sentences.

1) bankrupt (n, adj, v), bankruptcy

a)He went_ after only a year in business.

b)They feared that the loss would them.

c) He was declared in 1921.

d)The company was forced into .

2)dispute (n, v), disputed, disputable, disputation, indisputable, indisputably a) A series of wars and________ over the colonial territories make Britain

__ mistress of seas.

b)Today the USA is the mightiest country in the world, though

the politics of this country is often .

c) He is beyond all the finest actor in Hollywood.

d)They_ with the local council over the new road and this

seems to have no end.

3) enemy, enmity

a)________ The main of progress is the people's refusal to see change as

an opportunity rather than a threat.

b)Better historical underlie the present violence.





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