The United Irish Movement of the 1790s launched a tradition of revolutionary republicanism in Ireland which continues to this day. This book examines the origin, context, nature and practices of the republican nationalist movement from its inception in 1791 to its defeat in the Great Rebellion of 1798. Nancy Curtin explores its ideology, propaganda, social composition, and mobilization, and shows how these threads were woven together by an emerging liberalism not usually associated with the republican tradition and which only fitfully survived the demise of the radical movement. She shows how class and religious tension contributed to United Irish failure, but at the same time highlights its successes. Her analysis of United Irish mobilization, both ideologically and organizationally, is placed within the fluid context of revolution and counter-revolution in late eighteenth-century Ireland. 'This book is a thoroughly researched and beautifully written analysis ...Nancy Curtin goes further than any previous historian in her detailed analysis of the United Irishmen in Ulster...It is confident without being abrasive and will significantly reshape historical thinking about a period so crucial in the unfolding of modern Irish history.
' Marianne Elliott, The Irish Times 'In what is in many respects a path-breaking work, she offers fresh argument on the revolutionary nature of the United Irishmen ...fresh insights into their relationship with the Defenders, fresh information on their social composition ...and fresh discussion of their 'literary mischief ...this book will be placed high on the select list of works dealing with the United Irishmen.' Irish Historical Studies 'clear sighted, stimulating, and authoritative. This book is an excellent example of what revisionist Irish history...ought to be about. American Historical Review 'exceedingly well-written ...she produces a picture that is comprehensive and multifaceted...While avoiding biography she conveys a clear sense of who the United Irishmen were and what they were after. History.