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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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Reforming the Word and the words of the Irish, 1537–1607

Reforming the Word and the words of the Irish, 1537–1607

(p.9) CHAPTER TWO Reforming the Word and the words of the Irish, 1537–1607
Wars of Words

Tony Crowley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives an of the beginnings of linguistic colonialism proper in Ireland under Henry VIII, and the consolidation and hardening of the policy under Elizabeth I and James I. Central to the strategy of the colonists was the attempt to subjugate Ireland militarily and culturally, including the conversion of the country to Protestantism. The varying practices of colonial enforcement are examined, ranging from Henry's gradualist reformism to the extreme measures enacted during Elizabeth's reign and that of James. Attention is drawn to the limited impact of linguistic colonialism on Gaelic culture before the defeat of the Gaelic chieftains in 1601, and the subsequent Flight of the Earls in 1607. Consideration is given to the attitudes and stereotypes of the colonizers and the native population as expressed in the English and Gaelic literature of the period.

Keywords:   linguistic colonialism, colonialism, Protestantism, Gaelic culture, Flight of the Earls, cultural stereotypes, English literature, Gaelic literature

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