In 1729, the upper-class English treated their Irish servants with a great deal of inhumanity.
Jonathan Swift wrote the satirical essay "A Modest Proposal" suggesting British canabalism of Irish babies as a solution to the perceived problem of over-population amongst the Irish lower classes. His point was that, given how the Irish were already being treated, cannibalism was just a small step away from current practice, and a modest proposal could drive the British upper classes in Ireland to this extreme of inhumanity.
Swift was Irish, and though he much preferred living in England, he resented British policies toward the Irish.
In a letter to Pope of 1729, he wrote, "Imagine a nation the two-thirds of whose revenues are spent out of it, and who are not permitted to trade with the other third, and where the pride of the women will not suffer [allow] them to wear their own manufactures even where they excel what come from abroad: This is the true state of Ireland in a very few words." His support for Irish causes has made him a renowned figure in modern Ireland.
A satirical essay written by one of the most renowned satirists, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal expresses the author’s exasperation with the ill treatment of impoverished Irish citizens as a result of English exploitation and social inertia.
Furthermore, Swift ventilates the severity of Ireland’s political incompetence, the tyrannical English policies, the callous attitudes of the wealthy, and the destitution faced by the Irish people.
, through the Kingdom, always advising the Mother to let them Suck plentifully in the last Month, so as to render them Plump, and Fat for a good Table.
A Child will make two Dishes at an Entertainment for Friends, and when the Family dines alone, the fore or hind Quarter will make a reasonable Dish, and seasoned with a little Pepper or Salt will be very good Boiled on the fourth Day, especially in , which, as I have said will make four Dishes of excellent Nutritive Meat, when he hath only some particular friend, or his own Family to Dine with him.
was the descendant of King James II of the House of Stuart, expelled from Britain in 1689.
James and his descendants were Catholic, so they took refuge in Catholic countries. Many poor Irish were forced to seek a living in the New World.