United Irishmen, United States: Immigrant Radicals in the Early Republic

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9780801477591: United Irishmen, United States: Immigrant Radicals in the Early Republic
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Among the thousands of political refugees who flooded into the United States during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, none had a greater impact on the early republic than the United Irishmen. They were, according to one Federalist, "the most God-provoking Democrats on this side of Hell." "Every United Irishman," insisted another, "ought to be hunted from the country, as much as a wolf or a tyger." David A. Wilson's lively book is the first to focus specifically on the experiences, attitudes, and ideas of the United Irishmen in the United States.Wilson argues that America served a powerful symbolic and psychological function for the United Irishmen as a place of wish-fulfillment, where the broken dreams of the failed Irish revolution could be realized. The United Irishmen established themselves on the radical wing of the Republican Party, and contributed to Jefferson's "second American Revolution" of 1800; John Adams counted them among the "foreigners and degraded characters" whom he blamed for his defeat.After Jefferson's victory, the United Irishmen set out to destroy the Federalists and democratize the Republicans. Some of them believed that their work was preparing the way for the millennium in America. Convinced that the example of America could ultimately inspire the movement for a democratic republic back home, they never lost sight of the struggle for Irish independence. It was the United Irishmen, writes Wilson, who originated the persistent and powerful tradition of Irish-American nationalism.

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About the Author:

David A. Wilson is Coordinator of the Celtic Studies Program and Professor of History at the University of Toronto. His most recent work is a two-volume biography of the Irish Canadian politician Thomas D'Arcy McGee.

Review:

"This is an excellent book, important for the specialist and of interest to the general reader... David Wilson has in this well-organized volume made a substantial contribution to transatlantic studies. It is the definitive work on the United Irish in America."

(Canadian Journal of History)

"A sophisticated absorbing study, pungently written, by an historian with a firm command of Anglo-American radicalism. I found it especially valuable for what these important immigrant radicals brought to the new nation from their 'old world' experiences, how they both shaped American political culture and were themselves transformed."

(Alfred Young, Senior Research Fellow, Newberry Library)

"David Wilson's United Irishmen, United States is a thorough and fascinating study of one of the most important groups of radical exiles ever to settle in the United States. Inspired by the ideals and examples of the American and French Revolutions, the United Irishmen aspired to create an independent, non-sectarian Irish republic. Feared by contemporary conservatives and denigrated by pseudo-liberals today, the United Irishmen were, to be sure, neither socialists nor feminists nor color-blind (although many opposed American slavery). They were bourgeois radicals in an era when monarchy and aristocracy were indeed the principal enemies of 'the people,' and had they been successful, arguably Ireland would not have suffered the Great Famine of 1845–50 or the fateful partition of 1920–21 that has produced so much violence during the past thirty years. Bloodily suppressed in Ireland, the United Irishmen transferred their energies and idealism to America, where they discovered to their horror that, only two decades after 1776, the United States government under Federalist rule had embraced reactionary and counter-revolutionary policies that the exiles, in alliance with Jeffersonian Republicans, tried to reverse―to a degree successfully, but at the cost of immersion in the contradictions and corruptions of the emergent American political-party system. Thus, the story of the United Irishmen in the New World is one of triumph and failure, of irony and tragedy, and it is a story that David Wilson, despite his preference for more 'moderate' political goals and means than the United Irishmen adopted, faced as they were by intransigent opponents, has told very, very well."

(Kerby Miller, University of Missouri)

"It is an engagingly told story about the Irish nationalists who came to America after the failure of their cause in Ireland."

(Arthur Sheps Letters in Canada)

"Sharply conceived and judiciously argued, this book fills a gap in previous scholarship by opening up and directly confronting the whole question of the nature and legacy of United Irish politics in a transatlantic context. Wilson persuasively demonstrates the transmission of specifically Irish experiences and ideas to America, and he establishes an authority over his sources and his subject that should command the attention of both Irish and American readers."

(Richard Twomey, Saint Mary's University)

"This is a clear, well-focused, and well-organized piece of work that illuminates in narrative and thematic form an aspect of the subject which has not so far been satisfactorily explored by Irish historians: 'the consolidation of the transplanted United Irish network in America.' One of Wilson's strengths is that he writes so well, and when this ability is allied to scholarship that meets the most demanding criteria, the result is impressive."

(A. T. Q. Stewart, author of A Deeper Silence: The Hidden Origins of the United Irish Movement)

"United Irishmen, United States has much to offer scholars interested in the pre-famine history of Irish America, late eighteenth and early nineteenth century trans-Atlantic radicalism, and the ethnic dimension of urban politics in the early republic. Written in concise, crystalline prose, this modest book contains a wealth of previously untold stories about the flamboyant and fascinating Irish radicals who came to American in the late 1790s and 1800s.... This book makes an important contribution to the literature by eloquently narrating a largely overlooked chapter of Irish-American history.... A rich, compelling analysis of the complicated nature of Irish-American political life in the early republic."

(H-SHEAR H-Net Reviews)

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9780801431753: United Irishmen, United States: Immigrant Radicals in the Early Republic

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Among the thousands of political refugees who flooded into the United States during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, none had a greater impact on the early republic than the United Irishmen. They were, according to one Federalist, the most God-provoking Democrats on this side of Hell. Every United Irishman, insisted another, ought to be hunted from the country, as much as a wolf or a tyger. David A. Wilson s lively book is the first to focus specifically on the experiences, attitudes, and ideas of the United Irishmen in the United States.Wilson argues that America served a powerful symbolic and psychological function for the United Irishmen as a place of wish-fulfillment, where the broken dreams of the failed Irish revolution could be realized. The United Irishmen established themselves on the radical wing of the Republican Party, and contributed to Jefferson s second American Revolution of 1800; John Adams counted them among the foreigners and degraded characters whom he blamed for his defeat.After Jefferson s victory, the United Irishmen set out to destroy the Federalists and democratize the Republicans. Some of them believed that their work was preparing the way for the millennium in America. Convinced that the example of America could ultimately inspire the movement for a democratic republic back home, they never lost sight of the struggle for Irish independence. It was the United Irishmen, writes Wilson, who originated the persistent and powerful tradition of Irish-American nationalism. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801477591

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Among the thousands of political refugees who flooded into the United States during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, none had a greater impact on the early republic than the United Irishmen. They were, according to one Federalist, the most God-provoking Democrats on this side of Hell. Every United Irishman, insisted another, ought to be hunted from the country, as much as a wolf or a tyger. David A. Wilson s lively book is the first to focus specifically on the experiences, attitudes, and ideas of the United Irishmen in the United States.Wilson argues that America served a powerful symbolic and psychological function for the United Irishmen as a place of wish-fulfillment, where the broken dreams of the failed Irish revolution could be realized. The United Irishmen established themselves on the radical wing of the Republican Party, and contributed to Jefferson s second American Revolution of 1800; John Adams counted them among the foreigners and degraded characters whom he blamed for his defeat.After Jefferson s victory, the United Irishmen set out to destroy the Federalists and democratize the Republicans. Some of them believed that their work was preparing the way for the millennium in America. Convinced that the example of America could ultimately inspire the movement for a democratic republic back home, they never lost sight of the struggle for Irish independence. It was the United Irishmen, writes Wilson, who originated the persistent and powerful tradition of Irish-American nationalism. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801477591

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