'"Over the centuries, England gradually gained a foothold in Ireland. In 1541, the parliament in Dublin recognized England’s Henry VIII, a Protestant, as King of Ireland. In spite of repeated uprisings by Irish Catholics, English Protestants acquired more and more estates in Ireland. By 1703, they owned all but ten percent of the land. Meanwhile, legislation was enacted that severely limited the rights of the Irish to hold government office, purchase real estate, get an education, and advance themselves in other ways. As a result, many Irish fled to foreign lands, including America. Most of those who remained in Ireland lived in poverty, facing disease, starvation, and prejudice. It was this Irelandan Ireland of the tyrannized and the downtroddenthat Jonathan Swift attempted to focus attention on in “A Modest Proposal” in 1720."

(from THIS excellent study guide...)

Extracts from Gulliver's Travels (Sturridge, 1996)

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