A Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children Of Poor People From Being A Burthen

1335 Words Jun 30th, 2016 6 Pages
“A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick,” written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729, is a Juvenalian satirical essay where the proposer gives an extremely sarcastic and ironic solution to the difficulties that Ireland faced in the early 1700s. In order to fully comprehend Swift’s satire-packed essay, some background information is required about the historical and political background. During the 1700’s, often referred to as the “Age of Ascendancy” and “Penal Era,” eighty percent of Ireland’s population consisted of Irish Catholics, yet less than one-third of them owned land. During this period, Protestant English landowners rose in class, while the Irish Catholics descended due to their oppression. (Laura Leddy Turner, Demand Media) With England governing over Ireland, legislation was passed to limit the rights of the Irish. The Irish were limited from holding government office, purchasing real estate, getting an education, and advancement of themselves. (Fox) In response to this limitation, many Irish began emigrating to escape the English oppression. The Irish that remained in Ireland were faced with poverty, disease, starvation, and prejudice. It was this Ireland--an Ireland of oppression--that Jonathan Swift attempted to focus on in A Modest Proposal in 1720
At the beginning of his essay, Swift begins by discussing the rampant…

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