(Ireland). After France and Spain had entered the American War of Independence, many Irish volunteered to defend their country against invasion. By 1780, 40,000 were under arms. This also gave them political leverage which they used to wring concessions from the British government—first commercial advantages offered by North in 1780, then the repeal of Poynings's Law and the grant of legislative independence from the Rockinghams in 1782. But when the Volunteers moved on to discuss parliamentary reform, they split on the rock of the catholic question.
Subjects: European History.