Following the Williamite Wars the British undertook the Settlement of Ireland. This policy saw the plantation of Ireland by protestant landowners and the introduction of penal laws. This system had Ireland as a dependency of Britain from 1720 until becoming part of the United Kingdom in 1800. The penal laws forbade ownership of land by Roman Catholics. Many of the protestant settlers did not have the vote. It led to the bulk of the land being owned by a small number of Anglican elite. Ireland’s economy was used for the benefit of the empire, deforestation being one example, with much timber being used for the expansion of the fleet of the Royal Navy.
The British Empire – Making of the United Kingdom – Economic Consequences of the British Empire– How did the Empire affect Great Britain? – Society changes: Political Thought and the British Empire – Questions about the British Empire – British Empire Teaching Resources