Political Thought in Ireland 1776-1798: Republicanism, Patriotism, and Radicalism

Hardcover | December 15, 2002

byStephen Small

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This is the first comprehensive analysis of late eighteenth-century Irish patriot thought and its development into 1790s radical republicanism. The book is a history of the rich political ideas and languages that emerged from the tumultuous events and colourful individuals of this pivotalperiod in Irish history. Patriots, radicals, and republicans played key roles in the movements for free trade, legislative independence, parliamentary reform, Catholic relief and independence from Britain; and many of their ideas helped precipitate the rebellion in 1798. Stephen Small explains theideological background to these issues, sheds new light on the origins of Irish republicanism, and places late eighteenth-century Irish political thought in the wider context of British, Atlantic, and European ideas.Dr Small argues that Irish patriotism, radicalism, and republicanism were constructed out of five key political 'languages': Protestant superiority, ancient constitutionalism, commercial grievance, classical republicanism, and natural rights. These political languages, which were Irish dialects oflanguages shared with the English-speaking and European world, combined in the late 1770s to construct the classic expression of Irish patriotism. This patriotism was full of contradictions, containing the seeds of radical reform, Catholic emancipation, and republican separatism - as well as adefence of Protestant Ascendancy.Over the next two decades, the American and French Revolutions, the reform movement, popular politicization, Ascendancy reaction, and Catholic political revival disrupted and transformed these languages, causing the fragmentation of a broad patriot consensus and the emergence from it of radicalismand republicanism. These developments are explained in terms of tensions and interactions between Protestant assumptions of Catholic inferiority, the increasing popularity of natural rights, and the enduring centrality of classical republican concepts of virtue to all types of patriot thought.

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This is the first comprehensive analysis of late eighteenth-century Irish patriot thought and its development into 1790s radical republicanism. The book is a history of the rich political ideas and languages that emerged from the tumultuous events and colourful individuals of this pivotalperiod in Irish history. Patriots, radicals, and...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:316 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.85 inPublished:December 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199257795

ISBN - 13:9780199257799

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Origins of Irish Republicanism, Patriotism, and Radicalism2. Patriotism in the Age of the American Revolution 1776-17803. Patriotism, Classical Republicanism, and the Volunteers 1780-17824. Patriotism and Radical Reform 1782-17855. Protestant Ascendancy and the Revival of Radicalism 1786-17916. The Polarization and Fragmentation of Patriotism 1791-17937. From Radical Reform to Republican Separatism 1793-1798ConclusionBibliographyIndex