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Wars of WordsThe Politics of Language in Ireland 1537-2004$
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Tony Crowley

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273430.001.0001

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Language, God, and the struggle for history: 1607–1690

Language, God, and the struggle for history: 1607–1690

(p.36) CHAPTER THREE Language, God, and the struggle for history: 1607–1690
Wars of Words

Tony Crowley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter details the beginning of the destruction of the Gaelic order in Ireland by military, legal, and economic means. Though there is little evidence of the widespread use of English in the countryside, it is already evident in this period that English was the language of towns and that it had important economic, bureaucratic, and political functions. The defeat of Catholic forces in the 1640s and again at the end of the period gives rise to angry lamentation by the Gaelic bards for the loss of traditional Gaelic culture and faith. The chapter also traces the emergence of both the native response to the new historical circumstances, including the formulation of a new mode of Irish national identity, and the colonial attacks on Gaelic historiography, language, and culture.

Keywords:   Gaelic order, Gaelic culture, Catholicism, English language, Gaelic language, national identity, colonialism, historiography

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