Sunday, 27 May 2012

Famine, Fenians and Freedom, 1840-1882


FFF front cover


Famine, Fenians and Freedom, 1840-1882 is the second volume of a trilogy on resistance and rebellion in the British Empire. It is a detailed and nuanced study of the exodus of the impoverished and persecuted from Ireland before and after the Great Famine of the 1840s as they emigrated, or in some cases were transported to, America, Canada and Australia as well as to the British mainland. The critical question for many Irish men and women was whether Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom, or whether they should seek greater freedom through devolved power or separation. Young Ireland and Fenian movements sought Ireland's independence through rebellion while the populist and parliamentarian constitutionalist Repeal Association and campaign for Home Rule sought devolved government. This was a transnational struggle that carried across the Atlantic to the United States and Canada, to South Africa and Australasia where it was absorbed by existing Irish communities and reinforced by recent immigrants. In these disparate communities, the notion of an independent Ireland was sustained though what it meant in practice within those communities differed. This was an Ireland dominated by personalities such as Daniel O'Connell, James Stephens, Isaac Butt, and Charles Stewart Parnell and by rebellions against British domination in 1848 and 1867. It examines how those who saw themselves as exiled sought to restore Irish independence from what they regarded as British tyranny. This led to unsuccessful Fenian invasions of Canada by Irish-Americans in 1866, 1870 and 1871, the attempted assassination of a member of the British Royal family, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in Australia in 1868, and the murder of two British politicians in Phoenix Park, Dublin in 1882. It is a story replete with dramatic events; the monster meetings of the Repeal Association, the battle of Ridgeway in 1866, the voyages of the Erin's Hope and the Catalpa, the Manchester 'outrages', and the Clerkenwell bombing, and considers developments in Ireland in their global colonial context and setting.


1: A diaspora
2: Repeal, famine and rebellion
3: Fenians and rebellion in Britain, 1850-1882
4: Irish nationalism in North America to 1865
5: Rebellion in Canada
6: Rebellion in Australia
7: Linking Rebellion


The nature and impact of the Famine in its global Irish context in Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia Why, how and where Irish emigrated and how they settled into their new communities How different approaches to Irish nationalism evolved in Ireland, British colonies in Canada and Australia and in the United States and why it failed to achieve its objectives between 1840 and 1882 The nature and differences in the character of Irish rebellion in Ireland, mainland Britain, Canada and Australia in 1848 and during the 1860s looking especially at its military character and failure The role played by individuals such as Daniel O'Connell, Thomas Davis, John Mitchel, John O'Mahony, James Stephens, John O'Neill, John Devoy, Michael Davitt, Isaac Butt and Charles Stewart Parnell.

No comments: