Drapier's Letters is the collective name for a series of seven
pamphlets written between 1724 and 1725 by Jonathan Swift to arouse
public opinion in Ireland against the imposition of a privately minted
copper coinage which Swift believed to be of inferior quality. William
Wood was granted a letters patent to mint the coin, and Swift saw the
licensing of the patent as corrupt. In response, Swift represented
Ireland as constitutionally and financially independent in the
Drapier's Letters. Since the subject was politically sensitive, Swift
wrote under the pseudonym M. B. Drapier to hide from retaliation.
Although the letters were condemned by the Irish government, with
prompting from the British government, they were still able to inspire
popular sentiment against Wood and his patent. The popular sentiment
turned into a nationwide boycott, which forced the patent to be
withdrawn; Swift was later honoured for this service to the people of
Ireland. The first complete collection of the Drapier's Letters
appeared in the 1735 George Faulkner edition of the Works of Jonathan
Swift along with an allegorical frontispiece offering praise and thanks
from the Irish people. Today, the Drapier's Letters are an important
part of Swift's political writings, along with Gulliver's Travels
(1726), A Tale of a Tub (1704), and A Modest Proposal (1729).
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, a leading British
Whig Party statesman, began his second non-consecutive term as Prime
Minister of Great Britain.
Nikita Khrushchev became Premier of the Soviet Union following the
death of Joseph Stalin.
Construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, an oil pipeline
spanning the breadth of the U.S. state of Alaska, began.
The Solidarity movement in Poland staged a warning strike, the biggest
strike in the history of the Eastern Bloc, in which at least 12 million
Poles walked off their jobs for four hours.
The dam holding Situ Gintung, an artificial lake in Tangerang District,
Indonesia, failed, releasing floods that killed at least 100 people.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. Suffering from real or supposed liver disorder.
2. Of or pertaining to something containing or consisting of bile.
Irritable or bad tempered; irascible
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Non-evaluative insight into history does not inevitably lead to
relativism, but rather to relationism. Knowledge, as seen in the light
of the total conception of ideology, is by no means an illusory
experience, for ideology in its relational concept is not at all
identical with illusion. Knowledge arising out of our experience in
actual life situations, though not absolute, is knowledge none the
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