‘The springtime of the peoples’?

Louis James

in Repeal and Revolution

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780719065163
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702963 | DOI:
‘The springtime of the peoples’?

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By the beginning of July 1848, despite the creation of the Irish League, deep divisions remained in the Repeal movement. John 'Connell's lacklustre performance and John Mitchel's transportation had left William Smith O'Brien the leader of a fractured, but increasingly desperate, movement. Moreover, his influence extended beyond Ireland, with support in the United States that mostly supported an armed insurrection. To what extent would O'Brien, a reluctant leader of the Irish Confederation, be able to control the disparate forces that had been unleashed in the previous three months? At this stage, the British government intervened to precipitate a rising for which the Irish people were unprepared and about which its leaders were undecided. But the Repealers had to deal with an enemy that wielded more power than the British government. The precautions being made by the British government in the previous three months now found an important ally in the shape of the Catholic Church.

Keywords: Irish League; Repeal Movement; John Mitchel; Catholic Church

Chapter.  11900 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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