Autobiographies Historical Context

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Irish Nationalism and the Nineteenth- Century Literary Renaissance

The Protestant English were the dominant economic, political, and cultural force in Ireland beginning in the sixteenth century, when they settled large parts of Ireland. Throughout the seventeenth century, these Anglo-Irish, with the support of the British Crown, confiscated land from local Irish Catholics and instituted repressive laws that prohibited Catholics from working in many professions and from owning property. The English language replaced Irish Gaelic as the language of everyday speech and literature, helping to stifle traditional Irish culture.

Britain granted Ireland's Parliament legislative independence in 1780. Even though the entire Irish Parliament was Protestant, it granted to Catholics a number of reforms in religious practice and land ownership—but not the right to vote. Irish Catholics rebelled against English domination in 1798, but their uprising was quelled and the Irish Parliament disbanded. Three years later, the Act of Union made...

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This section contains 679 words
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Autobiographies from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.