The controversy about Wood’s Halfpence between 1722 and 1725 was an exceptional instance of Irish defiance of England’s imperial authority. In a heated public dispute, more than 100 pamphlets and broadsides in prose and verse protested against the English Government’s granting a patent for coining copper money for Ireland to an English manufacturer. Castigating the project in economic and constitutional terms, they revealed an indebtedness to traditional arguments for Ireland’s status as a free kingdom, whose people enjoyed the same liberties as the people of England. The pamphlets thus render a representative picture of Irish political thought and of the country’s relationship with its closest neighbour, and most powerful rival, England, in the early eighteenth century.
Frankfurt/M., Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2003. XVIII, 335 pp., 1 fig.
Contents: Ireland in the Early Eighteenth Century – The Origins and Development of Irish Constitutional Nationalism
– The Controversy about Wood’s Halfpence (1722-25) – The Drapier and Popular Protest in Ireland.