Northern Ireland as a separate entity is a very recent constituent part of the United Kingdom. For most of its history it was just one part of Ireland, the northern counties. Beginning with the Easter Rebellion, the Irish began fighting for their independence (1916). The Catholic Church was an important part of the Irish struggle for independence. The Irish Free State left the United Kingdom in 1922, but the six northern counties with Protesant majorities voted to remain with Britain. The religious difference was the result of the Plantation of Ulster. This was the colonisation effort in northern Ireland launched during the reign of James I (early 17th century). English and Scottish Protestants were settled on land confiscated from Catholic Irish landowners. We have little information on boys clothing in Ulster. There may have been significant differences in the clothing worn by Catholic and Protesant boys in the 19th century, princiaplly because of the poverty of the rural Catholics.
Northern Irelandoccupies the northeastern quadrant of the island of Ireland. It lies acroass the sea channels leading to England, Wales, and Scotland. As a resulthus has virtually ninvied a host of migatory people, including the Irish, Celts, Scots, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, Vikigs, and Normans. Pnly the Romans failed to land in Northern Ireland. What is now Northern Ireland occupies a little more than 20 percent. To the east The North Channel only seoatates Scotland by 13 miles. England and Wales are a little further way across the Irish Sea. The land border to the west and South is entirely with the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland has been described as topographically as a saucer centred on Lough Neagh. A kind of upturned rim forms the highlands. Lough Neagh largest freshwater lake in the British Isles. Five of the six historic counties (Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, and Londonderry) all—meet at the Lough (lake), and each shares a highland region on the imagined saucer's rim. There are three major upland (meaning hilly) territories: the Sperrin Mountains with extensive gold deposits, the Antrim Plateau. and the Mourne Mountains. These hilly areas nare more suited for animal husbandry than farming. The main rivers are River Bann, River Foyle, and River Blackwater. They help form highly fertile lowlands, with excellent arable land in the on the North and East.
The history of Northern Ireland, often referred to as Ulster, until the Ulster Plantations (17th century) is essentilly the same as the overall history of Ireland. Northen Ireland as a separate entity is a very recent constituent part of the United Kingdom. For most of its history it was just one part of Ireland, the northern counties. The Ulster Plantation introduced Protestantism to Northern Ireland which was the basis for a feeling of sepsrteness from Catholic southern Ireland. Beginning with the Easter Rebellion, the Irish began fighting for their independence (1916). The Catholic Church was an important part of the Irish struggle for independence. The Irish Free State left the United Kingdom in 1922, but the six northern counties of Ulster with Protesant majorities voted to remain with Britain. Northern Ireland is not the same as Ulster. Ulster comprises nine counties, of which six (Antrim, Armagh, (London)Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone) became Northen Ireland at Partition. The other three (Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan) are part of the Republic. The religious difference was the result of the Plantation of Ulster. This was the colonisation effort in northern Ireland launched during the reign of James I (early-17th century). English and Scottish Protestants were settled on land confiscated from Catholic Irish landowners.
Northern Ireland has the smallest economy of any of the United Kingdom's majpr comstiuenbt patts. Here population is afactor. Northern Ireland has a rather small popoukation. Even so, Northern Ireland has a higher percapita GDP than northeastern England and Wales. And the economy has been growing faster. The end of The Troubles (1990s) has been a factor along with the rapid growth of the Irish economy. And there has been a remarkable decline in unemplyment, an endemic problem during the 20th century. Unemployment has declined significabntly from 17 percent (1986). Agriculture dominted the economy for centuries. It is now less than 3 percent of the GDP--high compared to therest of the United Kingdom. It is mostly livestock and dairy. Indutry now is the mainsty of the economy. Shipbuilding was once dominated by shipbuilding. The great RMS Titanic was built bin Belfast. Industry is now more diversified. There is machinery and equipment manufacturing, food processing, and textile and electronics manufacturing. Other industries include papermaking, furniture manufacturing, aerospace and shipbuilding. Industry is concentrated mostly in the eastern areas of the country, including Belfast. The primay employer is the services seector (almost 80 percent) as well as 70 percent of economic output. Tourism is also important despite the longering bimage of violence because of The Troubles. One source reports, "In peace, Northern Ireland has staked its rightful claim as one of the most beautiful, memorable and cultural regions to be found anywhere on the island of Ireland. Nowhere is Ireland's recent history more strongly felt than in the North, and any visit would be incomplete without uncovering this rich and vibrant culture."
We do not have a suffiebt archive of images from Ulster to develop a chronological assessment at this time. The portrait here shows children in Ulster dressing identically with English children t the time (figure 1).
The garments we see Ulster boys wearing are essentially the same as we see being worn in England. We do not yet have much information s our Ilster rchiveis very limited. Younger boys might wear a variety of skirted garments like dresses and skirts. We are not sure to what extent kilts were worn. We suspect that the conventions were the same as in England. We note boys wearing tunic outfits similar to those wortn in England. The unidentified boy here during the 1860s is a good example of a mid-century tunic suit, in this cse worn with long oants (figure 1). We note another Ulster boy, Robert Muir, wearing a Fauntleroy-trimmed sailor-stled tunic suit at the turn-of-the 20th century wirn with bloomer knickers and long stockings. We note quite a few images of Ulster boys wearing sailor suits. They sem more populsr than in the Reublic to the south.
We do not yet jhve asubstaniatal Northern Ireland archive. We have very little information on activities. Through the 19th centuyry, many children worked. Boys could join the milirtty. We have one image of an Armny bandsman. we think in the 1890s. Msny boys in the 1890s worked. Working-class boys often quie school before fishing. This fepebndened ion the circumstances of the family. A few enlistred in the Army. They were not mascots, but actual mmberrs of the Regular Army. We note an unidentified boy who loosk to be about 10 years old. TYh younger boys were normally used as musicians.
We have little information on boys clothing in Ulster. There may have been significant differences in the clothing worn by Catholic and Protesant boys in the 19th century, princiaplly because of the poverty of the rural Catholics.
The primary government institution that children involve children is of course schools. There are other important instituions for children, especially charity institutions. The two most important here are the work house and orphanage. Our informtion is limited, but as best we can tell these institutions were similar to those in England, but there were differences. Of course until after World War I, Ireland was not divided. Thus there are no separate stories for southern and northern Ireland. There is a sad history of work houses in Ireland. And by the time the division took place (1920s), the work houses were being closed throughout the United Kingsom. Workhouses existed in Ireland before the 19th century, but on a relatively limited scale. The Irish Parliament passed an Act (1703) which set up a House of Industry in Dublin 'for the employment and maintaining the poor thereof'. [O'Connor] Authorities had the authority to commit people and to punish those already there. The punishments included flogging, imprisonment, and deportation. These houses were set up at various sites throughout Ireland.
Ireland became part of Great Britain under the Act of Union during the wars of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars (1801). The British government attempted to address the problem of widespread poverty in Ireland A succession of Parliamentary Select Committees (1804, 1819, 1823, and 1830) achived next to nothing. And there were virtual non-stop Royal Commissions and Special Committees of Enquiry which investigated the situation in Ireland (1800-40). The British Government seemed more concerned about Irish emigration to England than in dealing with the poverty problem. Parliament passed the landmark 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act which made the work house the only form of poor relief in England and Wales. Parliament decided that this was not suitable for Ireland. Parliament thus passed the ground breakinhg Irish Poor Law Act (1838), just before the horiffic Irish Polato Famine. It proved a disaster. Some 130 workhouses were constructed. Many of these imposing, if forboding tructures still exist.Construction was still underway when the Potato Famine occurred. Men woman and children died insused and outdside the poor houses waiting to be admitted. Until the Potato Famine few Irish people emigrated to Ameruca. Catholocism was a factor. The Potato Famine disaster changed that and the Irish became the first lrge group of European Catholics to reach America.
We also notice orphanages beig set upin Ireland.
Ulster is northern Ireland and part of the United Kingdom. We have listed the various U.K. countries separately, primarily because of differences between Rngland and Scotland. We know very little about Ulster at this time. A reader writes, "I see that there is no section for Northern Ireland in HBC. This is a shame as being �very British� and a fairly conservative place it has preserved until recently many of the uniform styles that were more common in England a couple of generations ago." Our reader has provided an account of his personal experiences at a grammar (selective secondary) school.
We have just begun to acquire information on Ulster families. We notice an unidentified family from Clones.
We have some information from a privlidged English-Ulster family in which Field Marshal Alexander grew up. Today as far as we know, Catholic and Protestant children dress identically.
O'Connor, John. Workhouses of Ireland: The Fate of Ireland's Poor.
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