The Introduction outlines the purpose of the book which is to present an intellectual history of the political ideas that inspired republican, separatist rebellion in 18th-century Ireland. The main focus is the expression and evolution of three key political themes: patriotism, radicalism, and republicanism. This work is primarily a history of political thought and language, but one that connects ideas and rhetoric to events and individuals. Its purpose is threefold: first, to describe the political languages and ideas used by patriots, radicals, and republicans in Ireland from the American Revolution until the Rebellion; second, to understand how and why these languages and ideas developed over this period; and third, to show how they informed the mentalités of the individuals who expressed these ideas in order to understand their political actions.
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