Chapter

Galway and Mayo

James G. Patterson

in In the Wake of the Great Rebellion

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780719076930
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700822 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719076930.003.0007
Galway and Mayo

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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This chapter closely examines the massive wave of agrarian agitation which manifested itself in Galway and Mayo during the winter of 1798–1799. On 22 August 1798, prophesies of a French invasion were apparently fulfilled with the appearance of a small squadron in Killala Bay. Unfortunately, the great rebellion of 1798 had been suppressed several weeks earlier. Nonetheless, the tiny French army was joined by thousands of Irish volunteers. In the succeeding 200 years, historians have failed to explain satisfactorily what drove as many as 10,000 supposedly complacent Irish peasants to partake in such an apparently ill-conceived endeavour. The existence of an underground Catholic gentry with long-term connections to the continent and the interrelated presence of a pervasive smuggling culture, coupled with traditional agrarian discontent, had produced a deeply rooted, albeit unfocused, anti-state mentalité into which the radical organizations tapped.

Keywords: Galway; Mayo; agrarian agitation; French invasion; Irish volunteers; French army

Chapter.  13519 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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