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Politics and the NationBritain in the Mid-Eighteenth Century$
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Robert Harris

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199246939.001.0001

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‘True English Genius’: Patriots and Patriot Clubs in Ireland

‘True English Genius’: Patriots and Patriot Clubs in Ireland

(p.192) CHAPTER FIVE ‘True English Genius’: Patriots and Patriot Clubs in Ireland
Politics and the Nation

Bob Harris

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores developments in Irish politics in the mid-18th century. The main focus is on how the money bill crisis worked to politicise Protestant public opinion in Ireland, and in so doing begin to change the underlying nature of the nation's political life. Much attention is focused on the ways in which patriots in Ireland in the mid-1750s sought to fashion a sense of crisis in politics, and on the creation of so-called patriot clubs, particularly in Ulster and Leinster, to sustain the patriot cause. These clubs became the organisational basis and focus for the development of a more independent, restive public opinion in Irish politics in this period, a force which was to demonstrate its importance (and its limitations) in the general election of 1761, held because of the death of George II. The relationship between developments in, on the one hand, Irish politics and political culture and, on the other British politics and political culture is also explored, along with the strengthening of the forces of patriotism and independence both inside and outside the Irish parliament.

Keywords:   Ireland, patriot clubs, patriots, politics, election, political culture, money bill, patriotism, parliament

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