18世紀イギリス植民地体制下のアイルランド・リネン業 The Irish Linen Trade under the British Mercantile System
Why did the Irish linen industry, which had spread throughout the country by the latter half of the 18th century, experience a rapid decline at the end of that century? The purpose of this paper is to present a colonial image of the 18th-century Irish linen industry, by investigating the policies England forced on the Irish linen industry, and how Ireland reacted to them. England's late 17th-century measure to promote the manufacture of linens in Ireland was a typical mercantile policy that was carefully designed to pursue the national interests of England, which was, at that point, the development of the English woollen industry. However, when linen manufacturing began to develop in Lancashire in the mid 18th-century, it became unfavourable for England to encourage the linen manufacture in Ireland, because it was an obstacle to the development of the Lancashire linen industry. The persons concerned in the linen trade in Ireland rarely felt that they were dependent upon the economic conditions of England as long as they were given enough encouragement. However, once the English Parliament passed a bill that gave the Lancashire linen industry priority over that of Ireland in 1770 (the 1771 Act), they came to recognise that their industry was a colonial type. After the 1771 Act, the Irish linen industry was depressed sharply while that of Lancashire continued to expand. Furthermore, the outbreak of the War of Independence in colonial America decreased the exports of Irish linens. To overcome these difficulties, the Irish linen industry pressured the English government, and finally got the freedom to trade with the British colonies. It was ironic, however, that by acquiring this freedom, Ireland became aware that there existed many other oppressive British policies over Ireland. In Irish political history, the 1770s and 1780s, when Ireland fought for liberty from England, have been understood positively, but through this movement for freedom, the Irish linen industry realised that there existed the limits of their development, and that they were incorporated into the growth process of the Lancashire linen industry as a yarn supplier. Furthermore, at the time they clarified this recognition, the Lancashire linen industry was ending its dependence upon Ireland for linen yarns, and taking a lean forward to the manufacture of pure cottons-calicoes.
歴史と経済 48(2), 18-33, 2006