Irish History between 1650 and 1670
A social experiment is a program or more that represents regular life intervention
administered to a group of persons taken randomly from a specific population (Ricken et al.
1974, p. 2). Observations were done to inquire about relevant aspects of their behavior, varying
with those of the group under another experiment. The social experiment can otherwise be
likened to a laboratory experiment, but with less control compared to a scientific laboratory
experiment; hence a better analogy has been preferred with clinical trials (Cochran 1957, p. 9) in
Ireland can be described as a laboratory for a social experiment between 1650 and 1670
due to various occurrences. First, the 1640s war that ended in 1653 with the surrender of the
royal forces saw Ireland to a peaceful transition from royalist into the parliamentary state through
the Cromwellian campaigns. The Cromwellian force had taken complete control of most east line
territories from Derry to Macroom in Cork County by 1652. The guerilla war dragged Ireland
through years of war. War prisoners were also transported to the West Indies to erase potential
problems that may take the country back to the wars. The social experiment of war left the
country with great damage to the economy, religion, and politics. Church tithes declined by 30%
in 1640 and 32% in the 1650s. The Brownlow rentals fell from 782 pounds per annum in 1635 to
488 pounds per annum in 1659. Also, it ruined most of the castles and mills in Wexford County.
The Irish capital was considerably destroyed. This social experiment succeeded in highlighting
the impact of human errors in involving in wars.
Saved from the war, the Irish was hit by a plague that reduced its population by 40% in
1652, according to calculations made by Sir William Petty. The pestilence wiped 1,300 people
every week in Dubin. The plague also hit most parts of the country, with only Ulster escaping.
The North, however, had the war mainly to blame for its reduced population. These misfortunes
inspired authors to record history, accusing them of the Irish people's errors and judgments.
Eamonn wrote bitterly in the war aftermath that he could understand the Irish conquest by those
of nobility but not by the stinky remains of the descendants of harlot's mothers who were the
churlish craftsmen. He condemns the execution of the Irish king and ascertains that the Irish had
lost their head. Historian Sean O Conaoll expounded on the Irish history from the generation of
Noah’s son Japheth to the present Irish people. He elaborated on Catholicism and Irishness and
drew positive affirmations on the equation between the two. These misfortunes called for
repentance and forgiveness of sins among the Irish people. Again, the Cromwellian regime that
assumed power over the Irish had three problems to tackle as a result of the war and the plague.
The first problem was bringing order, the second was building a power base for ruling, and the
third was reforming the Irish in the best manner favoring the new regime. All these sprung from
the experiment of wars and plague the Irish people faced. The social experiment here described
the need to rise and learn from past mistakes.
From the war experiment, the Irish government drafted a new settlement Act in 1652.
Henceforth, the classification was to treat the opposition to the parliament according to their guilt
and those of the upper social class according to their merits. Perpetrators of the war who got
involved in the massacre got exempted from life and estate pardoning (Gilbert, 1882, p. 226).
The Jesuits and priests engaged in the rising found guilty of murdering the civilians, and those
who refused to surrender within 28 days got an exemption from the same pardoning. It also led
to the banishment of all the Catholic and protestant officers who revolted against the parliament.
A third of their estates were given to their wives and children (Edmund, 1968, p. 158). These war
experiments agreed with Adrian Varela’s Robbers Cave Experiment.
The robber's cave experiment took place in Irish in 1653 when Sir Phelim got executed
and Vicar general Dubin was imprisoned then banished for fighting against the parliament of
Irish. Those who fought in the war were to surrender their property to parliament and regain only
a third of them. On the other hand, those who showed affection to parliament only parted with a
third of their estates.
The piano stairs experiment was a social experiment that prevailed in Irish when William
Fuller, the appointed Dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dubin, wrote an anthem to be sung
during the consecration of two bishops 1661. The fun inspired many people in the anthem to a
state of restoration, which was a behavioral change among the Irish people due to the sins of the
war. This anthem inspired the return of monarchy as well as the Episcopal hierarchy of the
church. It was also a sign of the rejection of compromise solutions used for church governance
and state. The need to change behavior was under this social experiment.
The survival of the Cromwellian land settlement was left entirely to those who benefited
from the scheme. A group of Irish men could not be induced to yield to parliament since they
sought so much to emerge as a parliament. In 1659, parliament gave Ireland the ruling to the
commissioners nominated by parliament and authorized by them. Henry Cromwell got removed,
and his administration got replaced by five commissioners in bids to purge the Irish army of 200
officers. However, this method did not get approved by the majority of the Protestants. The
military coup of December 1659 revised the political situation by restoring parliament when
Dubin castle got captured. The coup depicted the false consensus experiment since power got
then transferred to the protestant. The differing group of the leadership of Ireland led by Sir
Charles Coote and Broghill facilitated the power transfer. They were both motivated by the
individual perception that the extremists' leadership injured the people of Ireland and, therefore,
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needed to set up a scheme that would allow Ireland's political nation to decide correctly
concerning its future. The battle for false consensus prevailed even after the coup in 1660 when a
landowner called Hardness Weller tried to arrest Coote to overthrow his leadership but failed. He
was arrested and imprisoned. In 1660, a need to regularize actions of the protectorates touched
on land grants confirmations and oblivion Act for those under state authority. The action
provided a distinction between the wealth and reputation of those involved and protected them
from being compromised (p. 3).
During the war, Ireland got torn between Catholics and Protestants, with each party
making its demands before the king. Both held personal views concerning Ireland leadership that
would emerge the most supreme for governance. The Catholics demanded that the Act against
the Roman Catholic professor got repealed, and they be allowed freedom of the region in the
Roman Catholic (Edmund, 1968, p.152). They also demanded the repealing of all laws barring
the natives from acquiring land leases, offices, or hereditary, requiring construction of public
schools, universities, court inns, and youth training centers. They also demanded the repealing of
the Act that called for the swift removal of rebels from his majesty kingdom. These, among other
demands, were tabled before the king of England due to the social behavior of religious factions.
On the other hand, the Protestants equally tabled their demands of Ireland before the king
in England. They lobbied for the (Edmund, 1968, p. 156) establishment of a valid protestant
religion in the Ireland territories. Jesuit bishops' banishment stirred up a rebellion to protect the
majesty's protestants subjects (Robbers cave experiment). The Irish parliament's continuation for
the betterment of kingdom settlement and that acts of the law swiftly prosecute those involved in
crime, treason, and felony. The construction of a better-walled town should always be repaired in
each county of the kingdom and furnished with sufficient and necessary resources of the just and
legal government to protect your majesty laws and rights better. This war between the two
religious factions aimed at the betterment of the Irish kingdom despite both parties making
demands that only stretched the skin towards their end. This social experiment depicted the
dangers of selfish ambitions.
In 1660, the land restoration encompassed all Ireland's parties claiming to have been
loyal to the throne for reward purposes. The new government decided to base itself on settlement
acts, which later proved inefficient due to a lack of enough land to meet all land claimers
(Edmund, 1968, p. 159). The Act of 1665 followed three years later, subjecting the Protestants to
lose a third of their estates as it barred the Catholics from accessing the courts to make petitions
about their land claims that got ignored.
Upon the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, the gradual imposition of protectorates got
experienced throughout England. The army and the politicians failed to reach a consensus under
the protectorate parliament. Later around May, the Rump Parliament got established (p. 226) in
bids to ease the rift between the army and politicians, thus emphasizing the need for peace in the
Asch's conformity experiment was displayed when Ormond came up with ideas teaching
how a good society should work. He believed that God ordered the society and selected people to
rule them and that the leaders appointed by God should carry themselves out in manners
conforming to their appointment. He further stated that society got articulated by a set of mutual
laws that had an obligation to the king. His ideas got fused, but non-Catholics refuted them. He
stated that all inferiors must carry themselves out with modesty before their superiors, with
respect, and must not be rude. Even though he believed he was right and the Protestants were
wrong, he was met with a furious rejection, and he even got distrusted. Roger Boyle, a powerful
Munster settle, hated Catholics and thus declared to be an enemy to Ormond in 1660. Their
differences flooded Irish politics (p. 235). The earl of Orrery, who was a protestant, could not
stand the advice of Ormond. He equally became his enemy. The difference between Ormond and
the earl of Orrery brought about a considerable political influence in Ireland, with both seeking
to make the other submit to the other.
The settlement Act of 1663 passed by the Irish parliament to strengthen the declaration
led to a compromising state. Catholic agents led by Sir Nicholas and Richard Talbot in London
lobbied for change. Parliament regarded this revolution as offensive and therefore imprisoned
Tabolt. The earls of Orerry equally lobbied for change on behalf of Irish Protestants emphasizing
the need to stand firm on personal grounds that favor society.
Ormond believed in a Godly relationship between master and servant, husband and wife,
rich and poor, and magistrates and subjects. Charles II declared to pardon anyone who supported
the royalist's cause, be it catholic or protestant. Social order was highly regarded to shun
Catholics and Protestants from warring against each other in bids to strengthen the Stanford
Prison Experiment by Professor Philip Zimbardo. In 1662 parliament, three-quarters of the house
got made up of Protestants who subdued the house to get their interests always sailing. The old
and new Protestants worked together as one group to prevent concession by the Catholics.
However, the court availed to hear petitions from those who felt they were treated unfairly and
deprived of their estates. This Act forced a consensus between the two (p. 244). Innocent
petitioners received compensation while the Cromwellian owner of the land got compensated
elsewhere in the territory. Protestants began fearing that they might lose to the Catholics due to
court hearings. Irish parliament then repealed the land settlement explanatory bill. Tension grew,
and in 1663, Thomas Blood led a protestant plot that disbanded the court of claims. The court
was cut short before issuing a full decree on over 900,000 acres of land to the Catholics. Sir
William later stated that the court had left out over 8,000 acres of land. Land rate ownership
among the Catholics fell from two-third in 1641 to 30% in 1675, with that of the Protestants
increasing considerably. The tendency of an individual manipulating the system to favor them
created room for the diversity of experience among the Catholic community (p. 247); the
Catholic Lord Mountgarret lost his estates from 20 356 in 1642 to 14 907 acres in the 1660s
while Protestant Viscount Muskerry increased his holdings considerably. This was a social
behavior that exists among the dominant social class portrayed by Professor Philip Zimbardo.
The uniformity Act prescribed the Episcopal ordination and barring school teachers from
teaching pupils without a license. The church sought to be inclusive in the politics and
administration of Ireland. It builds a wide protestant consensus with Catholics. The bishop
consecration Act got slowly abolished to broaden the consensus. Episcopal ordination and assent
got based on the common prayer book and the thirty-nine articles to confirm the availability of a
position. Ulster clergy who failed to conform to this Act and the church got banished in 1660 (p.
Adventurers who had money in advance under the 1642 Act and the soldiers who served
during Cromwell got set to be given back their property. This favored them over other nominees
who waited for compensation elsewhere later. Also, innocent Catholics in the rising of 1640
transplanted in Connacht received compensation upon surrendering their estates. The 49
Protestants who served under the king in Ireland before 1649 got compensated. They got
rewarded with over 173,000 acres of land both in town, North and West Ireland. The land
statistics set aside for compensation had, however, been false. The earl of Orrery provided it to
fulfill his self-interest in the early 1660s compensations. New arrangements got adopted to solve
the land problem. Numerous court lobbying revealed several self-interests to be satisfied, thus
calling for enacting the Explanation Act of 1665. The mere Act of compensating loyal servants
was an endeavor to minimize resistance to the Irish kingdom. It was a social experiment to
provoke behavioral change among Ireland's inhabitants that would enable the parliament to rule
safely. This social experiment agrees with Volkswagen's piano stairs experiment to induce a shift
in behavior among users or stairs and escalators.
Richard Bellings was the primary mover during the Loyal Remonstrance making. In
1666, Ormond supporters had met to draft a loyalty oath to the king in compensation for some
concessions. They got compelled to do so due to the 1661 House of Common Irish asking for
Catholic hierarchy suppression and the fear of Catholic risings. They were, however, blocked by
parliament. English Catholics equally moved for similar oaths to the king. The assurances
rejected all interfering powers with royal authority. Therefore, the commitments insisted on
submitting Catholics to the king and informed their intense loyalty to their faith. The number of
signatories of the oath begun to increase through the 1660s forcing the land claims to assume
shape; most Catholics affirmed that the oaths shaped the court claims. Ormond certified the
claim allowing both loyal and disloyal Catholics got considered in land claims. This social
experiment was very successful in equalizing the claims of both Catholics and Protestants before
The Cromwell settlement had no settlement restriction; hence some areas progressed well
in terms of migrations and economic stability than others. The establishment of the Presbyterian
Church saw a significant number of people migrating into Ulster in the 1650s. The population
grew to occupy as far as Longford. As a result, the tax returns increased considerably by 1660
compared to 1641. Also, the development of ironworking attracted many people in the area. A
section of Connacht also experienced an increased population due to unregulated settlement by
the Cromwellian regime. They got attracted by the rise of new worlds, transitional zones, and the
continuation of old worlds. This social experiment resulted in social cohesion among the
In the early 1650s, the views of Lawrence never attracted equal enthusiastic welcoming
as he had expected. The false consensus among Protestants depicted a pragmatic preoccupation
in their daily activities. Vincent Gookin, a member of parliament at Westminster, disagreed with
Lawrence regarding the world. He reviewed the transplantation of the Irish people and concluded
that it was wanting. He came up with practical economic claims disputing the transplantation of
the Irish people in 1655. He claimed that the transplantation of Irish people would leave the land
with no workers hence a decline in tax, income, and revenues, which might inspire violence.
Ever since the Cromwellian regime took power in Ireland, there has been a need to reform the
people socially and religiously. This social experiment was significant in easing the governance
of the Irish people.
The social experiment in Ireland thus foresaw the kingdom's success through many
challenges in both land and governance. These experiments aimed at inducing equality in the
territories torn between Catholics and Protestants.
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Cochran, W. G., and Getrude M. 1957. Experimental Design. 2 nd Edition. John Wiley and Sons.
Gilbert, J. T. 1882. History of the Irish Confederation and the War in Ireland. London
Riecken, Henry W. 1974. Principle Component of the Evaluation Process. Academic Press. New