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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The emergence in the 1750s of a definable Patriot political interest transformed the Irish political landscape. With Edmond Sexten Pery and Henry Flood in the vanguard, the Patriots pursued a programme that aspired to realize their idealized view of the Glorious Revolution and an autonomous Irish parliament. Their achievements were few until the outbreak of the war in the American colonies so weakened the Irish administration and the British government that they were encouraged to take up long-standing commercial and constitutional grievances. They were able with the support of the politicized Protestant population to achieve free trade (1780) and legislative independence (1782). They did press for the reform of the representative system in 1783 and 1784, but fundamental differences within their ranks on the admission of Catholics to the political process, facilitated the Irish administration to regain control of the House of Commons. They became increasingly irrelevant in the 1790s.

Keywords: Patriot, free trade, legislative independence, Irish administration, Volunteers

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