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date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a reassessment of the war in Ireland during the mid-1640s in the light of recent scholarship, focusing on key issues such as religion, ethnicity, and class. Sandwiched between the massacres of both Catholics and Protestants at the outbreak of the rebellion in 1641 and the horrors of the Cromwellian conquest from 1649, Confederate Ireland is seemingly characterized by nothing more than internecine squabbling and indiscriminate bloodshed. The reality, however, is far more complex and the period witnessed the growing emergence of a sophisticated and inclusive Irish Catholic national identity, albeit a contested one. The English civil war, however, merely delayed the reconquest by seven years, as ultimately Irish Catholics, bitterly divided and chronically under-resourced in the military sphere, had no answer to Oliver Cromwell and the New Model Army.

Keywords: Ireland, Confederate, war, religion, ethnicity, class, national, identity, massacre, Cromwell

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