Settlement development and trading in Ireland, 1600-1800

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O'Flanagan, Patrick
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The significance of trading activity as a stimulus to the growth of new settlement and indeed to the expansion of existing settlement has been recognised as crucial in many societies, past and present. But in Ireland little or no attention has been paid to trading activity as a catalyst of urban or proto-urban evolution. The study of settlement form rather than of settlement function has acted as the focus of most rural settlement studies in Ireland, and hence the analysis of generative processes has been relatively neglected. Recently Irish settlement studies have become more broadly based, with a wider range of investigative approaches being applied,' and results from some of these approaches are revealing the existence of much more complex and varied conditions affecting settlement trends, with massive and profound changes even in the most recent past. Our task here in this preliminary review is relatively simple; it is to suggest that an examination of the changing patterns of market location may provide a general pointer to shifts in regional economic performance over time; secondly, we wish to make an initial exploration of the general impact of market functions on settlements themselves.
Irish settlement studies , Market foundation , Trading activity , Urban evolution , Eighteenth century , Irish historical geography
O'Flanagan, P. (1983) 'Settlement Development and Trading in Ireland, 1600-1800', in Devine, T. M. and Dickson, D. (eds.) Ireland and Scotland 1600 - 1800: Parallels and contrasts in economic and social development, Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers, pp. 146-150. isbn 0859760898.
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© The editors and contributors severally, 1983. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publishers, John Donald Publishers Ltd.