The Wave Historical Context

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The British occupied Ireland for nearly 800 years (and still occupies six counties). It was a cruel occupation, as they pushed the Irish from the best land and kept it for themselves. They outlawed education for the Irish, who were forced to learn in secret (the term "hedgemasters" comes from this period, when teachers—or masters—would hold classes behind the hedges to avoid the British authorities). "Penal Laws" also prohibited Catholics from owning land or any property (including animals) valued at more than 5 pounds. They could not practice law nor be part of the government. Catholic priests who broke penal laws were branded on the face or castrated. Wolfe Tone, assisted by the French and inspired by the American Revolution, led an unsuccessful rebellion in 1798. It wasn't until 1829, however, that the harsh penal laws were repealed.

British occupation and rule continued...

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This section contains 555 words
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The Wave from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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