James StaffordJun 30, 2022
The Case of Ireland
Commerce, Empire and the European Order, 1750-1848
Cambridge University Press 2022
James Stafford teaches at Columbia University, where he specializes in the political and intellectual history of Ireland, Britain and Western Europe since 1750, with a particular interest in questions of political economy and international order.
In this interview he discusses his new book The Case of Ireland: Commerce, Empire and the European Order, 1750-1848 (Cambridge UP, 2022), which offers a fresh account of Ireland’s place in European debates about commerce and empire during a global era of war and revolution.
The late eighteenth and early nineteenth
centuries have long been seen as a foundational period for modern Irish
political traditions such as nationalism, republicanism and unionism. The
Case of Ireland offers a fresh account of Ireland's neglected role in
European debates about commerce and empire in what was a global era of war and
revolution. Drawing on a broad range of writings from merchants, agrarian
improvers, philosophers, politicians and revolutionaries across Europe, this
book shows how Ireland became a field of conflict and projection between rival
visions of politics in commercial society, associated with the warring empires
of Britain and France. It offers a new perspective on the crisis and
transformation of the British Empire at the end of the eighteenth century, and
restores Ireland to its rightful place at the centre of European intellectual
Aidan Beatty is a historian at the Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh.