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Ireland in the 20th Century, 1912-Present

3. Crisis and Transformation, 1948-66

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About this Lecture


In this module, Brian looks at the social and economic crisis experienced by Ireland between 1948-59, as well as her transformation and recovery from 1959-66 under Sean Lemass. In the first half of the period, we explore the Mother and Child Scheme and the relationship between church and state, as well as socio-economic issues such as rising unemployment and mass emigration. In the second half, we look at Ireland's first attempt to join the EEC, the increases in Foreign Direct Investment into the economy, and the increased liberalisation of Irish society.


This course explores the making of modern Ireland, beginning in 1912 and ending in the modern day, and is split into five modules. The first module ('Birth of a Nation, 1912-32') looks at the violent period in Irish history between 1912-23 and attempts to stabilise the political and economic situation from 1923-32. The second module ('De Valera's Achievements, 1932-48') looks at the rise of Fianna Fail and their achievements over the next sixteen years - including their neutrality during the Second World War. The third module ('Crisis and Transformation, 1948-66'), explores the social and economic problems of the 1950s, up to the election of Sean Lemass in 1966. The fourth module ('The Modernisation of Ireland, 1966-97') looks at the various social, economic, and constitutional changes during Lemass' premiership and beyond. Finally, the fifth module provides a survey of how much Ireland has changed in the period, as well as outlining the issues that are still concerning Ireland in the 21st century.


Brian Girvin is a Professor of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely on twentieth-century Ireland, including most recently a chapter on 'Sean Lemass and the Making of Contemporary Ireland' in the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History (2014).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Girvin, B. (2018, August 15). Ireland in the 20th Century, 1912-Present - Crisis and Transformation, 1948-66 [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Girvin, B. "Ireland in the 20th Century, 1912-Present – Crisis and Transformation, 1948-66." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,