tablesetting complete with forks, knives, and spoons, and a baby on the plate in the center above the words "A Modest Proposal"

A Modest Proposal

by Jonathan Swift

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What alternative does Jonathan Swift propose to his plan in A Modest Proposal?

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First, it should be notes that A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift was a satire. He was not actually advancing a real plan to solve famine by eating Irish babies. Instead, he was Dean of the Dublin Cathedral and devout member of the Anglican Church, and concerned about the poverty and injustice being suffered by the Irish as a result of English oppression. As the church at the time was responsible for administration of the poor law, his practical interest was in church reform, especially reforming the injustice that led to monies gathered as tithes to go mainly to enriching a small group of aristocrats that used patronage to maintain control of bishoprics. The main practical solutions would be agricultural reform and poor law reform.

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