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A Modest Proposal Essay

1377 words - 6 pages

In “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, he suggests unthinkable solutions to controlling the population of poor children while stimulating economic growth in Ireland. While they are completely separate issues, Swift devises a plan will combat both problems with one solution. He uses satire when describing how the Irish government should deal with its poor people and the problem with thousands of hungry children who have no place to sleep or food to eat. He suggests feeding small children of poor families to the rich people. He even gives details on how to cook the children prior to being eaten. I’m sure people thought he was crazy at this point. But his objective was to gain the ...view middle of the document...

The economic issues that faced Ireland in the 18th century have much improved since then. Unemployment is at the lowest rate in years. The population is growing at an incredible rate. Poverty is at an all-time low. Swift said “These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants: who as they grow up either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.” This explains the economic impact that poverty can have on the economy. All of these issues are related and are like a revolving door. First the population is out of control which leads to high unemployment rates. If there aren’t enough jobs, this leads to poverty. The one thing that has changed is the number of women who work outside the home. There are less “stay at home” moms today than there were three hundred years ago. Although mothers still care of their children, they are more likely to work a full time job as well. This has helped close the gap of unemployment and poverty.
Eighteenth century Ireland was in a struggle with the British which had an imperialist style political agenda, where the government provided military support to joint stock companies wanting to expand their trading networks. Wars were waged on open colonial markets because they were able to increase their private profits because of their ability to sell products in expand markets. At this time Ireland was under control of the British Empire, so this helped increase tax revenues to finance civil and military operations. The fiscal state of the military was a result of the English financial revolution of the early eighteenth century, made politically possible by the Glorious Revolution in 1688. The financial revolution consisted of the founding of the Bank of England, the end of using bank notes as currency, and its management of the national debt which in turn allowed the financing of an Army and Navy. Jonathan Swift was one of the first to comment on the political impact of these developments, explaining how paper credit such as public bonds, stock certificates and paper currency that were being circulated at this time- fueled the imperial war. These new forms of paper money many of which were debt obligations owed to the joint stock companies by the government became Swift’s favorite topic. In Swift’s opinion the government was taking advantage of the state’s mounting debt to influence the public on their policies. Unemployment and was at an all-time high in in the early to mid-1700’s. There were very few jobs which in turn led to a soaring problem with poverty. The Industrial Revolution completely changed the economy. The Irish economy improved seemingly overnight because of the trading that was taking place between Ireland and other countries. Their products were in such demand that...

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