The Society of United Irishmen

(1828 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The Society of United Irishmen was a non-sectarian patriotic organisation founded with the aim of uniting “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter in the common name of Irishmen.” Initially founded in Belfast in 1791 as an open and constitutional body, it was initially dedicated to the twin causes of Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform. Proscribed by government in 1794, it subsequently became a secret organisation dedicated to revolution and the establishment of an independent Irish republic on the French model. United Irish activities in the mid-1790s – when the government estimated its membership to be over 300,000 – reached a climax with the Irish rebellion of 1798, which resulted in as many as 30,000 deaths and the …

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Clark, Robert, James Anthony Shanahan. "The Society of United Irishmen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 May 2008
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]