This book opens by exploring how nationalist Ireland mobilized a mass democratic movement under O'Connell to secure Catholic Emancipation. This world was soon to be transformed by the horrifying tragedy of the Great Famine of 1846-1850, which set the context for the emergence of a popular mass nationalism, expressed in the Fenians (and later by Parnell and Sinn Fein). This period also witnessed the radical re-organization and politicization of the Catholic Church that began with the Synod of Thurles (1850). All three events, in varying ways, changed the face of 19th-century Ireland. The book also examines how at the same time, the Protestant northeast of Ulster was enjoying the first benefits of the Industrial Revolution. Although post-Famine Ireland modernized rapidly, only the northeast had a modern economy. The rich document-based case studies on Emancipation, Famine, and the Synod are supplemented by thematic essays on politics and administration, society and economy, and culture and religion in this period. *** "The decision to used these three episodes to understand nineteenth-century Ireland makes a nice change from the typical chronological narrative . . . The main strengths of this volume are the particular topical coverage, the readability of the prose, and the inclusions of primary source documents . . . will be useful for teachers and students of Irish history . . . and would be a sensible purchase for a university library." - Victorian Studies, Vol. 55, No. 4, Summer 2013Ëœ
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Donnchadh O Corrain is emeritus professor of medieval history at University College Cork. He has published widely on early medieval Irish institutions, culture, law, literature, historical sources and the Viking wars.
Tomas O'Riordan works as a researcher and part-time lecturer in University College Cork.
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