Chapter

‘Disunited Irishmen’

Christine Kinealy

in Repeal and Revolution

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780719065163
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702963 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719065163.003.0005
‘Disunited Irishmen’

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This chapter surveys the multiple dilemmas faced by the supporters of Young Ireland in the early months of 1848, especially in the wake of the French Revolution. The French Revolution had awakened hopes that a similarly quick and bloodless revolution could take place in Ireland: hopes that underestimated the determination of the British government to keep the Empire intact. The visit to Paris in April made it clear that no help could be expected from there, but a new development in Irish nationalism was the support it was evoking in the United States. Just as worrying was the alliance between radicals in Britain and Ireland, linking Chartism with Repeal and democratizing both movements in the process. The Repeal movement had become more divided than ever. The government had in place draconian legislation, a network of informers and a large military and police presence within Ireland. The Chartist petition had ended in fiasco, the Irish delegation to France was rebuffed, and the most radical political figure in Irish politics was about to be successfully convicted and transported to Bermuda.

Keywords: Young Ireland; French Revolution; Chartism; Repeal movement; British government

Chapter.  14008 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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