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Ulster Covenant

Today is the centenary of the Ulster Covenant, the document signed by nearly 0.5 million people which opposed the plans for Home Rule in Ireland. The economics of Home Rule should be of interest to all students of Irish history. Notably, the opening sentence of the Ulster Covenant states that "Home Rule would be disastrous to the material well-being of Ulster as well as the whole of Ireland". This would make a great PhD topic: Would Home Rule have been disastrous for the economy?  Did the partition of Ireland affect the economic well-being of all of its citizens right up to the present day?  Was opposition to Home Rule motivated by money rather than politics or religion? 

There are at least two papers written by academics at Queen's which look at the economics of Home Rule.

1. A number of years ago, Charlie Hickson and I in an article published in the European Review of Economic History suggested that the fall of the Irish stock market in the years leading up to 1913 was partially due to investor concerns about the anti-big-business rhetoric of Home Rule supporters.

2. Graham Brownlow (along with Tim Bowman) has a really interesting paper on the economics of the armed and paramilitary resistance to Home Rule - click here for the paper.


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