# Ireland. A history. Part II. Иностранный язык. Фомина И.В. - 9 стр.

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• ## Иностранный язык

9
These agrarian secret societies offered protection to the peasantry from the worst
excesses of rack-tenting landlords and middlemen by threatening them with crude
violence and similarly disciplining those of the peasantry themselves who offended
against their code by, for instance, taking land from which another had been evicted.
But these secret societies seldom strayed from local agrarian affairs even into the
fringes of politics. The eighteenth-century Whiteboys in particular made a point of
stressing that they had no national political ambitions.
It may therefore seem a paradox to say that it was precisely during this period of
the eighteenth century that the first really effective talk of the Irish nation demanding
its rights began. But the paradox is easily resolved: the talk, and not only talk but
action, came not from the majority of the Irish people at all, who were excluded from
political rights, but from the people who were excluding them: the Protestants of
Ireland.
These Protestants were manly settlers of quite recent times, but they included a
small proportion of old Catholic and even old Gaelic Catholic stock who had changed
The new constitutional relationship between Britain and Ireland was to be that of
two sovereign independent kingdoms linked by the inalienable identity of the Irish
Nations independence little more than nominal so long as the parliamentary system
of both kingdoms remained unreformed, for the control of honours and patronage, by
which in the long run governmental policy was operated in each parliament, remained
in the same royal ministers hands at Westminster. The future of the independent
Irish Nation of 1782 was in fact deadlocked.
Then, in 1789, there occurred in Europe an event which was eventually to sharpen
and redistribute Irish political thinking altogether: the French Revolution. The news
of this had a particularly strong emotional and intellectual impact on Ireland. An open
radical organization was formed, mainly by Presbyterians from Belfast, to promote
the twin objects of parliamentary reform and the unification of the Catholic and
Protestant nations into one. It named itself appropriately the Society of United
Irishmen, and was enthusiastically joined by a young Dublin Protestant Wolfe Tone.
The United Irishmen had no success with the government and only limited success in
furthering their aim with many Protestants. By 1796 they had converted themselves
into a secret society with still more radical aims, to be implemented ultimately by
violent means. The year 1796 was to produce one of the most dangerous moments
England ever experienced.
Bantry Bay is a magnificent stretch of water on the south-west coast of Ireland.
And there anchored on the evening of 21 December 1796 a great invasion fleet of
thirty-five French ships, their decks crammed with thousands of French republican
troops fresh from their triumphs in Europe as the greatest revolutionary army the
world had ever seen. They had come to Ireland at the call of the United Irishmen to
help them bring about a republican revolution there.
This was the beginning of talk about an Irish Republic and although Tone was
then almost unknown in Ireland he was to become in retrospect, after his death, the
most famous republican of them all.
                                           9
These agrarian secret societies offered protection to the peasantry from the worst
excesses of rack-tenting landlords and middlemen by threatening them with crude
violence and similarly disciplining those of the peasantry themselves who offended
against their code by, for instance, taking land from which another had been evicted.
But these secret societies seldom strayed from local agrarian affairs even into the
fringes of politics. The eighteenth-century Whiteboys in particular made a point of
stressing that they had no national political ambitions.
It may therefore seem a paradox to say that it was precisely during this period of
the eighteenth century that the first really effective talk of the Irish nation demanding
its rights began. But the paradox is easily resolved: the talk, and not only talk but
action, came not from the majority of the Irish people at all, who were excluded from
political rights, but from the people who were excluding them: the Protestants of
Ireland.
These Protestants were manly settlers of quite recent times, but they included a
small proportion of old Catholic and even old Gaelic Catholic stock who had changed
The new constitutional relationship between Britain and Ireland was to be that of
two sovereign independent kingdoms linked by the inalienable identity of the Irish
‘Nation’s’ independence little more than nominal so long as the parliamentary system
of both kingdoms remained unreformed, for the control of honours and patronage, by
which in the long run governmental policy was operated in each parliament, remained
in the same royal ministers’ hands at Westminster. The future of the ‘independent
Irish Nation’ of 1782 was in fact deadlocked.
Then, in 1789, there occurred in Europe an event which was eventually to sharpen
and redistribute Irish political thinking altogether: the French Revolution. The news
of this had a particularly strong emotional and intellectual impact on Ireland. An open
radical organization was formed, mainly by Presbyterians from Belfast, to promote
the twin objects of parliamentary reform and the unification of the Catholic and
Protestant nations into one. It named itself appropriately the Society of United
Irishmen, and was enthusiastically joined by a young Dublin Protestant Wolfe Tone.
The United Irishmen had no success with the government and only limited success in
furthering their aim with many Protestants. By 1796 they had converted themselves
into a secret society with still more radical aims, to be implemented ultimately by
violent means. The year 1796 was to produce one of the most dangerous moments
England ever experienced.
Bantry Bay is a magnificent stretch of water on the south-west coast of Ireland.
And there anchored on the evening of 21 December 1796 a great invasion fleet of
thirty-five French ships, their decks crammed with thousands of French republican
troops fresh from their triumphs in Europe as the greatest revolutionary army the
world had ever seen. They had come to Ireland at the call of the United Irishmen to
help them bring about a republican revolution there.
This was the beginning of talk about an Irish Republic and although Tone was
then almost unknown in Ireland he was to become in retrospect, after his death, the
most famous republican of them all.