A growing body of historical work seeks to integrate Ireland's story into that of English, then British, attempts at empire-building, both within the British-Irish islands themselves and across the whole Atlantic world. This chapter examines the writings of historians and cultural critics on Ireland and the Empire. An enormous body of historical writing plus material from political, economic, and cultural theorists, anthropologists, and others is evidently relevant. A far smaller body of work takes Ireland and Empire as its explicit focus, in the sense of using concepts such as imperialism and colonialism in analysing the Irish past, or of seeking substantially to incorporate Ireland into general histories or theories of British imperialism. The ensuing controversies have intertwined with others, including the long dispute between so-called ‘revisionists’ in Irish history and their opponents, and that over whether the island of Ireland contains ‘two nations’ or just one.
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