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Thread: Wars of the Three Kingdoms

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    Default Wars of the Three Kingdoms

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wars_of_the_Three_Kingdoms

    I've recently been reading more on the "Wars of the Three Kingdoms" (1641 Rebellion, English Civil Wars, etc) and it really seems phenomenal to me these crucial events are virtually ignored in the Irish secondary school history curriculum. Prior to the Wars, Ireland was a kingdom belonging to a sovereign who also happened to possess England: in theory an equal sister kingdom. After the Wars, Ireland was a subordinate possession of the parliament of England. Prior to the Wars (and the Reformation) native Gaels and Old English settlers were enemies; after the Wars they began merging until they eventually formed the single identity we today refer to as "nationalist" (as opposed to "unionist").

    I recall only a page or two on the rebellion of 1641 in the Junior Cert text book, and obviously the Leaving Cert doesn't go back to the 17th century, so most students will leave school with little or no understanding or even knowledge of what was arguably the most crucial period in the history of the island (I'd put it up there as arguably more crucial than 1169-1171 and 1690, as it marks the birth of the 'nationalist' identity)

    Do posters have any theories on why the Wars of the Three Kingdoms receive so little attention in Ireland? Most people's knowledge is limited to an awareness that there were massacres of Protestants in 1641, and that Cromwell invaded and brutally sacked Drogheda in 1649: but these events are not put into their British Isles context and most people have no understanding of the role Ireland played in sparking off the English and Scottish civil wars.

    Is there a reluctance to examine Ireland's role in the wider history of the British Isles; Irish historians and the media preferring to fall back on the traditional colonyccupier portrait? Is there a reluctance to examine the merging of the Gaelic Irish and Old English; historians and the media preferring to basically pretend the Old English ceased to exist, and all Catholics are gaels? Or is it simply so long ago, and resolved so little, that it is considered irrelevant?

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    Arguably the 9 Years War 1594-1603 and its aftermath was the beginning of formal alliances between the Old English and the Gaels against the New English. I agree though that the 17th century and the three major wars in it (Nine Years War/Tudor Reconquest, Kilkenny Confederation/Cromwellian War, and Williamite War) is by far the most important period in modern Irish history and that all the current major strands of cultural identity on the island today stem from this period - with the Old English and Gaels merging into Nationalism and the New English and Scots Planters becoming Unionism.

    Anyone with an interest in Irish history knows just how important this period is, and it is curious that it isn't taught or remembered much.

    I hardly agree that this is because of some desire to supress "Britishness" though. I'd argue quite the opposite! The Cromwellian period in particular - all most of the general populace know about this is Drogheda but Drogheda was a minor skirmish between an English Parliamentarian army and...an English Royalist garrison! It's a distraction, a smokescreen, a diversion.

    There were battles and slaughters and atrocities from one end of the island to the other over a 12-year period. It is estimated that over 600,000 people died as a result of the wars and ensuing chaos and famines etc. So...if the truth of what happened in that century was taught in schools - the Tudor Reconquest and the end of the old Gaelic order; the Cromwellian slaughter; and the Williamite war which led to the Penal Laws - then perhaps we might all have a better understanding of Unionist paranoia which largely originally stems from folk myths about the 1641 massacres - but we'd also have a greater understanding of the brutality of English rule and the attempted physical, cultural and religious genocide of the period, the whole effort to "make Ireland British", and why it has always been resisted in one form or another.

    I hardly think Ireland can be said to have "sparked off" the English and Scottish Civil Wars. They would have happened anyway, Europe at the time was a place where the radical effects of the Reformation with its emphasis on an individual relationship with God and being responsible for your own destiny ran slap up against the old order with Divinely Appointed Absolute Monarchy telling people what to do. Guttenberg has a lot to answer for as well, with education and literature being available to the masses for the first time in history. Absolute Monarchy was an idea whose time had passed.

    I don't know anyone who likes to pretend that the Old English simply "ceased to exist", I think this is something you just made up. Just about anyone would be able to ream off a string of Norman/Old English surnames if you asked them. The point is that we now no longer consider them as "other" but as "part of us", albeit with their own slightly different origins long ago. And that they've been part of "us" for 400 years.

    Perhaps, though, this explains the confusion over what to do with Unionists. The nationalist camp says to itself "We are a fusion of Gael, Norman and Anglo-Irish. Many of our great legendary figures are Anglo-Irish, Scots-Irish and Protestant. Why do Unionists insist on pretending to be 'other' when we are really one?"

    I think overall though yer coming from a conclusion (that everyone believes in a pure Catholic Gael identity) which is completely untrue and trying to fit the facts around it.
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    What do you mean by the "Old-English" exactly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary
    What do you mean by the "Old-English" exactly?
    He means all those bloody Barry's down in Cork boy!



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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary
    What do you mean by the "Old-English" exactly?
    It's the standard term used by historians to describe those descended from the Normans and other old Anglo families who moved to Ireland before the Tudor Reconquest.

    Geraldines, Butler, Prendergast, all the other Norman names like d'Arcy, de Bruin and the various Fitzes etc.

    All of these ended up in the "nationalist" camp, whereas the "New English" of the Elizabethan and Cromwellian and Williamite Plantations largely never assimiliated and still held themselves in opposition to the "mere Irish" - which included the Old English. After Partition, the New English in the south either moved at least partially into the nationalist camp (you could think of people like Shane Ross, David Norris or Henry Mountcharles), or left Ireland.
    Je suis un loo-lah

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    Politics.ie Member Kerrygold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary
    What do you mean by the "Old-English" exactly?
    It's the standard term used by historians to describe those descended from the Normans and other old Anglo families who moved to Ireland before the Tudor Reconquest.

    Geraldines, Butler, Prendergast, all the other Norman names like d'Arcy, de Bruin and the various Fitzes etc.

    All of these ended up in the "nationalist" camp, whereas the "New English" of the Elizabethan and Cromwellian and Williamite Plantations largely never assimiliated and still held themselves in opposition to the "mere Irish" - which included the Old English. After Partition, the New English in the south either moved at least partially into the nationalist camp (you could think of people like Shane Ross, David Norris or Henry Mountcharles), or left Ireland.
    "Nationalist camp" is right. :twisted:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary
    What do you mean by the "Old-English" exactly?
    It's the standard term used by historians to describe those descended from the Normans and other old Anglo families who moved to Ireland before the Tudor Reconquest.

    Geraldines, Butler, Prendergast, all the other Norman names like d'Arcy, de Bruin and the various Fitzes etc.

    All of these ended up in the "nationalist" camp, whereas the "New English" of the Elizabethan and Cromwellian and Williamite Plantations largely never assimiliated and still held themselves in opposition to the "mere Irish" - which included the Old English. After Partition, the New English in the south either moved at least partially into the nationalist camp (you could think of people like Shane Ross, David Norris or Henry Mountcharles), or left Ireland.
    I figured as much, but who's "standard term" is it? the "new English" no doubt

    I wouldn't risk calling a Mac Gearailt, Seoighe, de Búrca or Ó Báire - "old English"
    "Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón" as they would say!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary
    I figured as much, but who's "standard term" is it? the "new English" no doubt

    I wouldn't risk calling a Mac Gearailt, Seoighe, de Búrca or Ó Báire - "old English"
    "Is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón" as they would say!
    All Irish historians dealing with the period use the term. There's nothing political about it. It is the most precise term to talk about these people for the period in question. Calling someone surnamed Joyce Old English nowadays shouldn't be taken as an insult, but treated as a meaningless anachronism, just as calling someone called O'Connor a "Gael" or called Loughnane or Broderick a "Viking" would be.

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    Default Re: Wars of the Three Kingdoms

    Quote Originally Posted by badinage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wars_of_the_Three_Kingdoms

    I've recently been reading more on the "Wars of the Three Kingdoms" (1641 Rebellion, English Civil Wars, etc) and it really seems phenomenal to me these crucial events are virtually ignored in the Irish secondary school history curriculum. Prior to the Wars, Ireland was a kingdom belonging to a sovereign who also happened to possess England: in theory an equal sister kingdom. After the Wars, Ireland was a subordinate possession of the parliament of England. Prior to the Wars (and the Reformation) native Gaels and Old English settlers were enemies; after the Wars they began merging until they eventually formed the single identity we today refer to as "nationalist" (as opposed to "unionist").

    I recall only a page or two on the rebellion of 1641 in the Junior Cert text book, and obviously the Leaving Cert doesn't go back to the 17th century, so most students will leave school with little or no understanding or even knowledge of what was arguably the most crucial period in the history of the island (I'd put it up there as arguably more crucial than 1169-1171 and 1690, as it marks the birth of the 'nationalist' identity)

    Do posters have any theories on why the Wars of the Three Kingdoms receive so little attention in Ireland? Most people's knowledge is limited to an awareness that there were massacres of Protestants in 1641, and that Cromwell invaded and brutally sacked Drogheda in 1649: but these events are not put into their British Isles context and most people have no understanding of the role Ireland played in sparking off the English and Scottish civil wars.

    Is there a reluctance to examine Ireland's role in the wider history of the British Isles; Irish historians and the media preferring to fall back on the traditional colonyccupier portrait? Is there a reluctance to examine the merging of the Gaelic Irish and Old English; historians and the media preferring to basically pretend the Old English ceased to exist, and all Catholics are gaels? Or is it simply so long ago, and resolved so little, that it is considered irrelevant?
    We did it in primary, just not in secondary.

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    Politics.ie Member Rocky's Avatar
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    It is interesting. Just this year I studied all this in history in College and before that I never even knew any of it had happened except that Cromwell had invaded etc. I never knew that there was an Independent Irish parliament in control of most of Ireland for nearly nine years for example. And it is an interesting and hugely important time, but all the same what you cover in Junior Cert history is fairly brief and not very detailed especially around this period. It's also not that easy to fit it in to nice little chapters like the Reformation or the Plantations because although it is caused to a large extent by the reformation it isn't about how the protestant religion came about and although it led to a plantation and was a result of earlier plantations it isn't really directly about a plantation either.

    The fact that the Old English and Gaelic Irish continually swear loyalty to the English king and the fact that all they wanted was a better deal for Catholics and not Independence and a few other things like that wouldn’t exactly make Republicans happy who try to claim that there is a continuous seven hundred years of rebellion against English, but all the same I’d be reluctant to believe that there is an attempt to cover it up.
    "Give us the future, we've had enough of YOUR past, Give us back our country, to live in, to grow in and to love..."

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