The United Irishmen: Popular Politics in Ulster and Dublin, 1791-1798


The United Irish movement launched a tradition of revolutionary republicanism in Ireland which continues to the present day. This book examines the origins, context, nature, and practice of early Irish republicanism. It is primarily concerned with the hitherto largely neglected internal dynamics of the movement from its inception in 1791 to its defeat in the great rebellion of 1798. Nancy J. Curtin explores its ideology, propaganda, social composition, and mobilization, and shows how these threads were woven together by an emerging liberalism not usually associated with the republican tradition and which only fitfully survived the demise of the radical movement. Curtin shows how class and religious tensions contributed to the United Irish failure, but at the same time she highlights its successes. Curtin places her sharp analysis of United Irish mobilization, both ideologically and organizationally, within the fluid context of revolution and counter-revolution in late eighteenth-century Ireland.


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