Swift obviously supported a standing army and foreign military involvement when he wrote as a Whig and published A Discourse of the Contests and Dissentions (1701) and Temple's Letters (1703). Swift, however, savages standing armies in A Tale of a Tub, which was unpublished at the time, as well as in his later Tory writings in Gulliver's Travels (1726). For example, in Gulliver's Travels, Lemuel Gulliver is taken to London by sailors who want him to join a standing army. He refuses, saying: "I had rather starve with my friends than eat howling with wolves." In addition to supporting a standing army, Swift also attacked domestic violence and advocated for Irish independence.
Swift also criticized British policy toward Ireland during this time period. Ireland had been under English rule since 1653 when Oliver Cromwell defeated Charles I in battle. In order to secure their hold on power, the English began importing large numbers of Irish prisoners into their island prison colony. These prisoners worked on small plots of land with only one day off every week. They were given extremely poor food and equipment for work. Many died from starvation or disease before they even reached their destination. This is why many historians believe that Britain's conquest of Ireland was done primarily for economic reasons -- to secure its supply of meat for its growing population.
In addition to being critical of British policy toward Ireland, Swift also has some choice words for those involved in political disputes in England.
Swift is well known for his books A Tale of a Tub (1704), An Argument Against the Abolition of Christianity (1712), Gulliver's Travels (1726), and A Modest Proposal (1728). (1729). He is recognized as the English language's finest prose humorist by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, although his poetry is less widely known.
In addition to being one of the first English-language novelists, Swift was also a political pamphleteer, journalist, and orator who attacked both the government and the church during times when such activities were not tolerated. His writings are said to have had a profound influence on the course of world history with regard to giving voice to those who were being silenced at the time he wrote them.
Swift was born in Dublin but grew up in London, where his father was employed by the Post Office. He began writing at a young age and became known for his attacks on religious hypocrites and social injustices while living in poverty. In 1689, at the age of 26, he was appointed secretary to Sir John Temple, 2nd Baronet, who was then ambassador to Ireland. In 1714, after four years away from London, Swift returned to the city as editor of the Irish Daily Journal. Two years later, he was made permanent secretary to William Temple, 1st Lord Temple, the lord chancellor. In this role, he came into contact with many members of Parliament and other influential people.
Best known as the author of A Modest Proposal (1729), Gulliver's Travels (1726), and A Tale of a Tub (1704), Swift is widely acknowledged as the greatest prose satirist in the history of English literature.
William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (born October 15, 1881 in Exeter, Devonshire, England—died October 26, 1944 in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent), was a leader in the ecumenical movement as well as educational and labor reforms.
Swift's story is meant to divert Hobbes and other opponents of the church and government from pointing out their flaws. But, unlike in his subsequent works, Swift was obsessed with maintaining his authorship of the story's obscurity. Thus, he resorted to criticizing himself and his contemporaries in the process.
In the first place, he took issue with the idea that humanity's depravity required an institution like the Church to restrain it. Such a notion was popular at the time, especially among philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes who argued that human nature was bad by definition and needed the civilizing influence of religion or society to prevent people from behaving badly. For example, when one considers how many people would commit atrocities if not for the fear of punishment, it makes sense that humanity needs laws and governments to keep them in line.
But this explanation wasn't enough for Swift, who believed that most people wouldn't be so vicious unless they were also greedy and selfish. To prove his point, he wrote a short novel called "Gulliver's Travels" that criticized these same ideas and others like them. In it, Gulliver travels around the world and experiences things that show that humanity's nature isn't really that bad. For example, he sees that some countries have governments that are even worse than what would happen without any rules at all, so there must be something else that prevents people from acting violently.
Swift's poetry is linked to the poetry of his contemporaries and predecessors, either by linkages or through reactions to it. He was most likely influenced by Restoration poets John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, and Samuel Butler (who shared Swift's preference for octosyllabic verse). In addition, there are indications that he was familiar with Alexander Pope's work.
Swift also may have been influenced by Thomas Parnell, who like him was imprisoned for debt. Parnell's poems were popular among other prisoners including Henry Fielding, who admired them greatly. It has also been suggested that Swift was influenced by George Herbert, but this claim is based more on conjecture than anything else.
Finally, it is possible that Swift was influenced by earlier English poets such as Geoffrey Chaucer and John Donne. Although none of their work specifically influences Swift's, they do share many similar themes and styles which would have been apparent to anyone who read their works.
Swift was born in Ireland on May 24, 1667. His father was a clergyman who served three different parishes, so they were often on the move. When Swift was eight years old, his family settled into an estate near County Cork called "Cavan," which they owned until Swift was twenty-one.