Overview

Irish rebellion


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1798.

The 1798 rising occurred in the summer, and involved between 30,000 and 50,000 insurgents and around 76,000 government troops. The intellectual leadership came from the Francophile United Irish movement (1791), originally middle class and urban and in favour of constitutional reform. As the possibility of non‐violent reform diminished in the 1790s, the militancy of the United Irish movement developed. The revolt was precipitated by the government's brutal efforts, especially in April–May 1798, to suppress sedition and conspiracy. There were two main centres of rebellion: in eastern Ulster, where the insurgents were decisively defeated at Antrim and at Ballynahinch; and in south Leinster, where the critical rebel defeat occurred at Vinegar Hill (Co. Wexford) on 21 June. A French landing, at Killala (Co. Mayo) in August, came too late. The rising further discredited the Irish government with William Pitt, and reinforced his sympathy for a constitutional union between Britain and Ireland.

Subjects: Military History — British History.


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