Ireland, 1641

Contexts and reactions

The 1641 rebellion is one of the seminal events in early modern Irish and British history. The 1641 'massacres', like the battles at the Boyne (1690) and Somme (1916), played a key role in creating and sustaining a collective Protestant/ British identity in Ulster, in much the same way that the subsequent Cromwellian conquest in the 1650s helped forge a new Irish Catholic national identity. This book illustrates the role that cartography and geography can play in understanding and contextualising the 1641 rising/rebellion. During the Irish wars of the 1590s, printed news on the continent about developments in Ireland emanated from the Roman press of Bernandino Beccari. Barcelona publications indicate a strong interest in Irish events at a time ironically when Irish regiments in the service of Spain were heavily involved in the attempted suppression of their revolt. The book also answers few questions with reference to the survivors of the sacks of the Dutch Revolt. The history of sectarian conflict in the French wars of religion has focused more on the targets of violence, animate and inanimate, than on its vocal manifestations. The Irish exiles in the Spanish Monarchy were extremely active in the years prior to 1641. Connecting the Hispanic dimension of events in 1641 and the birth of an Irish 'Black Legend' comparable to the classical 'Spanish Black Legend' required the reflection on the meaning of violence.

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