What factors explain the rapid decline of the Irish or Gaelic language after 1850? essays & term papers     

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What factors explain the rapid decline of the Irish or Gaelic language after 1850? Free Essay, Term Paper and Book Report

Irish, or Gaelic, is the native language of Ireland. It is a Celtic language closely related to Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. Until the early 19th century it was the language spoken by the majority of the Irish population, estimated at around four million speakers. For more than three centuries a combination of factors including the growing market economy, the Great Famine, government centralisation, the introduction of a state system of national education in 1831 and emigration all contributed a massive shift from Irish to English. The shift happened very quickly and by 1891 English was being spoken by over 85% of the population. Currently the Irish language is only commonly used in small areas of the western seaboard of Ireland. In the pre famine years these were the areas were the use of the Irish language was most widely used. Coincidentally, these were the regions which were hardest hit by the famine, emigration and the changes which came as a result. The Irish language became increasingly seen as old fashioned. It was thought to signify both poverty and ignorance rather than th......

Word Count: 1787
Page Count: 7.1  (250 words a page / double spaced)

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