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Ireland's Growth As A Modern Society

1335 words - 6 pages

“Becoming a modern society is about industrialization, urbanization, and rising levels of literacy, education, and wealth. ”― Samuel P. Huntington

Evolving as a nation comes with struggles, conflicts and the need to have an open mind when approaching and assessing various situations and options. Through evolution of a society comes the unsettling feeling of change, which many cannot embrace. With the term social modernization, social refers to a gathering or community of people and modernization is the movement from old to new but with reference to social science it is the process of urbanization and industrialization which in turn effects the lives of people. Urbanization is the development of urban areas due to a change in demand for employment and various other factors away from rural areas to cities and industrialization is the movement from a society focused on agriculture to one based on manufacturing, technology and economic benefits.

This essay will identify turning points in Ireland, which affected and influenced their social policy along with the social modernization and the period of change from recessions to booms to an uncertain economy.

Social services which includes; education, housing, health, income maintenance and personal social services is the epicentre and focal point of Social policy and it concentrates on the wellbeing of individuals and societies (Curry, 1980). Social policies are put in place by governments generally for the betterment of society and for those who are underprivileged. This is done by trying to emphasize a sense of equality in all spheres of life (Curry, 1980). It is important to look at the history of Ireland in order to understand their reasoning behind their social policies.

Ireland for many years was under the influence of British rule and that is why many British policies were mirrored in Ireland such as the poor laws of 1838, which were enforced in order to try and eradicate poverty and create workhouses as a means for people to try and earn some money.

In 1922 the Irish Free State was established, Civil War broke out and from the 1930s Ireland maintained a liberal democracy with attempts by various Governments to promote Irish domestic industries using subsidies and protective tariffs (Ireland Republic of History, 2000) and in 1949 Eire became the Republic of Ireland (Ireland timeline, 2012).

Ireland’s prosperity was short-lived with little economic growth with the policies of protective tariffs and low public spending proving ineffective after being granted a low interest rate loan, which was spent on various large-scale housing projects after the Second World War (The 1916 Easter Rising).

In the late 1950s the protective policies were scrapped and free trade with certain countries and direct foreign investment particularly in manufacturing with low taxes was implemented. A majority of these policies have remained part of Irish economic planning and were expanded when joining the...

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