Republican ideals animated the United Irishmen, and when government policies made it clear that these ideals could no longer be expressed within the existing constitutional framework, the radicals adopted the goal of a separate republic as a final strategy. This goal required French assistance. The liberalism which the United Irishmen were advocating argued for revolutionary aspirations such as trade without restraints, removal of irksome civil disabilities, freeing individuals to succeed, and rewarding them for merit and achievement. The union of the Catholic and Dissenter which gave rise to the United Irish movement in the 1790s was based on a common hatred of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy. The United Irishmen possessed a remarkable talent for disseminating their ideas. They also professed to represent a united nation, against self-serving landowners and their British backers.
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