History of Northern Ireland 3
From the Act of Union to the Great Revival
The Act of
Even as the rebellion of the United Irishmen was being brutally suppressed by Lord Lieutenant Charles Cornwallis, he accompanied the use of military force with political action, bringing a bill to unite the Irish and British parliaments before the Irish House of Commons, in January 1799.
The Irish Parliament effectively dissolved itself when it passed an Act of Union early in 1800. The Act was passed into law by the
The Industrial Revolution in
According to historian Jonathan Bardon, ‘It was the success of the linen industry that made
While flax spinning and weaving had long been practised in
An Irish Linen Board was set up in 1710 to promote the fledgling industry and even though weaving linen yarn into cloth did not yet become mechanised, output increased from 2.5m yards in the 1720s, to 17m yards in the 1800s.
Following the introduction of mechanised spinning processes after 1825, linen started to overtake cotton as the major local textile industry. However, the linen and cotton industries remained prone to severe recession.
In 1861, the outbreak of the American civil war obstructed the supply of raw cotton to English mills. Adapting the recently developed power looms to weave cotton, the linen industry in and around
Although small scale shipbuilding and ship repair work had been carried out in Belfast Lough from at least the sixteenth century, the modern industry received its crucial impetus with the arrival of William Ritchie. Ritchie arrived from Saltcoats, Ayrshire, with 10 men and enough materials to found a boat yard. The first vessel was built on a site near modern
With the creation of Queen’s
In 1870, Harland signed a contract with the White Star Line, which set the course for his company to become one of the best known shipyards in the world. The next 50 years saw Harland and Wolff construct the first transatlantic ocean liner, the Oceanic and enter into a ‘golden age’ of ship building.
Other nineteenth century industrial enterprises in the north of
The Great Revival
In the wake of ‘Revivalist’ movements among evangelical Protestants in the
The physical symptoms of the Revival included faintings, visions, trances and physical paralysis and were most common among women and children. These were the subject of intense debate on the nature of the upsurge of religious fervour. A number of clergymen were disturbed by what they saw as a display of mass hysteria, where others saw proof of divine intervention. Later commentators noted the stressful social context of a rapidly modernising economy, as well as a presence of an evangelical tradition within Scots Presbyterianism.
Whatever the causes, the Great Revival was a central cultural phenomena of the early industrial age in
Belfast: An Illustrated History (1982) by Jonathan Bardon; Belfast: 1000 Years (1985) by Jonathan Bardon and Stephen Conlin.