Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A little Irish history: the rebellions

England was one of the most powerful nations on earth in the late 1700's and early 1800's. This most anyone who knows any history, knows. The Irish had an ice cube's chance in hell to defeat the English Army. Even so, there were some brave Irish souls who dared to risk their earthly lives in pursuit of a little earthly liberty.

One of these was Theobald Wolfe Tone (1763 -1798), a Dublin lawyer, who, in 1791, in the northern city of Belfast, helped to found the Society of United Irishmen. The goal of this society was to form a united and independent Ireland.

Another was Robert Emmet, born in Dublin in 1778, the last of 17 children, and like Wolfe Tone, a Protestant. Like some other Protestants in Ireland, he was angered by the situation of the Catholics. He would hear his father speak about Irish independence. At the age of twelve, Robert Emmet wrote a poem that began:
"Brothers, arise, our country calls. Let us gain her rights or die."


I got this little information above from a very good book with which to introduce to children at the middle school or junior high level, Irish geography and history:

The Republic of Ireland. 1984.Dennis B. Fradin. Chicago: Children's Press.
ISBN 0-516-02767-0

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