Abstract and Keywords
Between 1791 and 1801 the relationship between Ireland and Britain was challenged, undermined, and eventually reinforced. The start of the decade was marked by the emergence of new revolutionary ideas, which suggested that separation from Britain was preferable to the existing connection. These ideas culminated in an abortive landing at Bantry Bay in 1796, and open rebellion in 1798. In the same period, the Protestant Ascendancy attempted to maintain its own rights and privileges and resisted reform. Following the crushing of the 1798 rebellion, the British government decided to abolish the Irish parliament and through a mixture of legal and illegal manoeuvres the Act of Union was passed in 1800. This marked the creation of the United Kingdom, but because Catholic emancipation was not included within its terms many of the existing problems would go on to dominate Irish politics in the first part of the nineteenth century.
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