Abstract and Keywords
The 1640s and 1650s were defining decades in Irish history. The 1641 rebellion played a crucial role in shaping the triple Stuart monarchy during the seventeenth century and triggered a decade of civil war in Ireland. Though Catholic Ireland failed to win lasting political autonomy, the 1640s was the only time before 1922 that Ireland enjoyed legislative independence and Catholics worshipped freely. By contrast, during the 1650s England dramatically reasserted control over Ireland. Cromwellian military victory after 1649, followed by English reconquest, paved the way for another round of expropriation. This chapter draws on the wealth of scholarship that has been produced since the mid-1990s, especially on the 1641 rebellion, the civil wars and the Cromwellian land settlement, and suggests avenues for future research. A chronological approach is taken but this should not obscure the forces of continuity which transcend a period otherwise characterized by intense change and upheaval.
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