Politics and Rebellion

Politics and Rebellion - 1 Politics and Rebellion Since...

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1 Politics and Rebellion Since 1155, Ireland was in the possession of England. Given away by the pope, the Irish people didn’t take notice of England at first. Once England did begin colonizing though, the Irish were treated as subhuman and many of their basic rights were taken from them. The Act of Union and the Penal laws stripped them of everything they had known and were. Evictions and more devastation followed. In the midst of all this, many men rose to the cause of Ireland. Some were politicians, others were more rebellious. Even though the results of rebellion were more obvious and faster, the politicians managed to accomplish more over time. Robert Emmett, born at St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin in 1778, was on the rebellious end of the spectrum. This does not mean that he was not educated though, he was a prominent member of the Historical Society at Trinity College and he was also, as is evident in Speech from the Dock , a very clever and careful speaker. Emmett remained on the side of violent rebellion for the rest of his short life. Daniel O’Connell took a very different approach than Robert Emmett. Born at Cahirciveen, County Kerry, he was the oldest of ten children. He was raised by his uncle Maurice at their ancestral home, Derrynane House. O’Connell was educated in France and England. He began his legal career at the age of twenty-three in 1798. The best way to describe O’Connell’s methods and beliefs comes from his 1843 Speech at Tara : “Remember that my doctrine is that, ‘the man who commits a crime gives strength to the enemy,’ and you should not act in any manner that would strengthen the enemies of
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2 your country. You should act peaceably and quietly, but firmly and determinedly. You may be certain that your cheers here today will be conveyed to England” (31). Emmett would have disagreed. 1798 marked the United Irishmen’s fruitless defeat in what was dubbed, “The Great Rebellion of ‘98”. Uniting across socioeconomic lines, the United Irishmen went underground when England tried to suppress them during their war with France, also feeling there was reason for concern following the American Revolution. The United Irishmen were poorly organized, and they lost the rebellion quickly. There was a warrant issued for the arrest of Robert Emmett afterward, but it was never carried out. Following the Great Rebellion, Emmett fled to France.
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2008 for the course ENGLISH 100 taught by Professor Flinner during the Spring '07 term at UMass Lowell.

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Politics and Rebellion - 1 Politics and Rebellion Since...

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