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Remaking the British AtlanticThe United States and the British Empire after American Independence$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199640355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640355.001.0001

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(p.136) 7 Ireland
Remaking the British Atlantic

Peter J. Marshall

Oxford University Press

To contemporaries Ireland's contribution to Britain's security and wealth was of the utmost importance. Effective British control was therefore deemed to be essential. This control was seriously threatened in the last years of the American War when the Irish parliament, backed by a large movement of armed Volunteers, forced Britain to concede that its parliament had no authority over Ireland. Irish gains turned out, however to be limited. Britain still controlled the executive government of Ireland which was usually able to dominate a parliament elected by very few voters. Attempts to widen the Irish electorate, which were part of widespread movements of discontent, were defeated. In resisting popular turbulence the British regime increasingly identified itself with the maintaining the dominance of Irish Protestants over the Catholic majority of the population.

Keywords:   Irish parliament, Volunteers, Irish administration, parliamentary reform, Roman Catholics, Protestant Ascendancy

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