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Daniel O'Connell, often referred to as The Liberator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. One of the most remarkable historical figures in Irish history, he campaigned for Catholic Emancipation, including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland. Famous in his day as the most feared lawyer in Ireland, O'Connell tormented judges, terrorised opposing barristers, and won a reputation for saving the lives of so many men who would otherwise have been hanged. He became 'The Counsellor', the fearless defender of the people. He secured that reputation through his campaign for Catholic emancipation when he founded the first successful mass democratic movement in European history, and became 'The Liberator'.
Daniel O'Connor was one of the most remarkable people in 19th century Europe whose success in securing the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act at Westminster in 1829 set British and Irish politics on the course it maintained until well into the 20th century. This biography concentrates on O'Connell's glory period, culminating in 1829.
Previous histories on O’Connell have dealt predominantly with his attempts to secure a repeal of the 1800 Act of Union and on his success in achieving Catholic Emancipation in 1829, Kinealy focuses instead on the neglected issue of O’Connell’s contribution to the anti-slavery movement in the United States.
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was an era of continuity as well as change. Though properly portrayed as the era of 'Protestant Ascendancy' it embraces two phases - the eighteenth century when that ascendancy was at its peak; and the nineteenth century when the Protestant elite sustained a determined rear-guard defence in the face of the emergence of modern Catholic nationalism. Employing a chronology that is not bound by traditional datelines, this volume moves beyond the familiar political narrative to engage with the economy, society, population, emigration, religion, language, state formation, culture, art and architecture, and the Irish abroad. It provides new and original interpretations of a critical phase in the emergence of a modern Ireland that, while focused firmly on the island and its traditions, moves beyond the nationalist narrative of the twentieth century to provide a history of late early modern Ireland for the twenty-first century.
In this sequel to his critically acclaimed King Dan, Patrick Geoghegan examines the latter part of O’Connell’s life and career. Daniel O'Connell, often referred to as The Liberator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. One of the most remarkable historical figures in Irish history, he campaigned for Catholic Emancipation, including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland.
From beloved historian Antonia Fraser comes the dramatic story of how Catholics in the United Kingdom won back their rights after two centuries of official discrimination. In the summer of 1780, mob violence swept through London. Nearly one thousand people were killed, looting was widespread, and torch-bearing protestors marched on the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street. These were the Gordon Riots: the worst civil disturbance in British history, triggered by an act of Parliament designed to loosen two centuries of systemic oppression of Catholics in the British Isles. While many London Catholics saw their homes ransacked and chapels desecrated, the riots marked a crucial turning point in their fight to return to public life. Over the next fifty years, factions battled one another to reform the laws of the land: wealthy English Catholics yearned to rejoin the political elite; the protestant aristocracy in Ireland feared an empowered Catholic populace; and the priesthood coveted old authority that royal decree had forbidden. Kings George III and George IV stubbornly refused to address the "Catholic Question" even when pressed by their prime ministers--governments fell over it--and events in America and Europe made many skeptical of disrupting the social order. But in 1829, through the dogged work of charismatic Irish lawyer Daniel O'Connell and with the support of the Duke of Wellington, the Roman Catholic Relief Act finally passed. It was a watershed moment, opening the door to future social reform and the radical transformation of the Victorian age. The King and the Catholics is a gripping, character-driven example of narrative history at its best. It is also a distant mirror of our own times, reflecting the dire consequences of state-sanctioned intolerance and showing how collective action and the political process can triumph over wrongheaded legislation.
The study of Irish history, once riven and constricted, has recently enjoyed a resurgence, with new practitioners, new approaches, and new methods of investigation. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History represents the diversity of this emerging talent and achievement by bringing together 36 leading scholars of modern Ireland and embracing 400 years of Irish history, uniting early and late modernists as well as contemporary historians. The Handbook offers a set of scholarly perspectives drawn from numerous disciplines, including history, political science, literature, geography, and the Irish language. It looks at the Irish at home as well as in their migrant and diasporic communities. The Handbook combines sets of wide thematic and interpretative essays, with more detailed investigations of particular periods. Each of the contributors offers a summation of the state of scholarship within their subject area, linking their own research insights with assessments of future directions within the discipline. In its breadth and depth and diversity, The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History offers an authoritative and vibrant portrayal of the history of modern Ireland.

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