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date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay discusses a central theme of this volume—that the civil wars occurred both within and between three kingdoms with a single king. The Covenanters’ protest in Scotland followed an afforced redefinition of the relationship with Ireland, and the rise of the Confederates in Ireland was in part a Catholic attempt to achieve a similar confederal relationship with Protestant Britain. Presbyterian Scots and the Catholic Irish found that security for their devolved governments depended on outcomes in England that they therefore needed to shape. The essay examines these asymmetries, how differing national aspirations were reflected in the symbols of nationhood, and how conscious Stuart efforts to create interconnection between the aristocracies of all Three Kingdoms complicated the political and military struggle and processes of state formation. Finally, it considers how the wars between the kingdoms complicated the revolt in the English provinces that we call the English civil wars.

Keywords: Covenanters, Confederate Ireland, Wars of the Three Kingdoms, English civil war, aristocracy, confederation, state formation, symbols of nationhood

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