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date: 15 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the objectives of the English republic as it conquered Ireland and Scotland after 1649, and the impact of that conquest on all three nations. Initial hopes that the army would settle religious, legal, and social reforms in Scotland and Ireland soon dwindled as the soldiery’s financial burden eroded prospects of reform everywhere. Even in Ireland, where massive confiscations of Catholic land and displacements of Catholic inhabitants defined the ‘Cromwellian settlement’, the real winners were not the Cromwellians but earlier Protestant settlers; and while England’s rulers had deplored the aspirations of Scotland’s nobility and kirk to export their own British agendas, by the end of the Cromwellian decade nobles and kirk were regaining local, if not archipelagic, influence. The chapter also reflects on responsibility (including Cromwell’s own) for military atrocities and the confusions of empire.

Keywords: archipelagic, atrocity, British, confiscations, conquest, Cromwellian settlement, empire, Ireland, Scotland, security

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