Most scholars turn a blind eye to A Proposal for Giving Badges to the Beggars in All the Parishes of Dublin, but as Jonathan Swift’s final pamphlet on Irish affairs, it deserves our attention. This essay contextualizes the pamphlet among Swift’s more familiar arguments for solving Ireland’s problems of poverty and unemployment, including a scheme for giving badges to Dublin’s deserving poor while setting the able-bodied to work, under threat of corporeal punishment. Swift supported this scheme in the 1720s and 1730s, and this essay gives us a fuller picture of Swift at the end of his political career.

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