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Fenian Movement

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Fenian Movement

The word “Fenian” comes from Irish folklore. It is described as an ancient group of knights who were independent and had a form of nationalism for their homeland of Ireland. According to the legend, Irish rebels who were known as knights gave up a chance for world dominion by leaving their country to keep Ireland alive, through their pride for the country. In 1848, a movement struck in Ireland, to achieve independence from England by using force. The movement was led by a group of revolutionaries called “Young Ireland.” This movement was led by William Smith O’Brian. Also a part of this group was seven other rebellious Irish leaders. The group influenced Britain’s and the United States’ foreign and domestic policies. Along the lines of these issues were disputes happening in Ireland. Over the next few years, many problems occurred, with food, money, and a competition for a better society. As the revolt started, Fenianism spread across Ireland. As the knights did, the Irish fled from their country to improve their way of living, and to have vengeance on Britain.

The Irish dealt with many problems. One of these problems was the food shortages on Irish farmlands. The movement was due in a large part to the Great Potato Famine. During the 1840s, this event changed the face of Ireland forever. ”The Kingdom of Ireland was growing very weak in the eighteenth century due to poor harvests” (Ruddy 15). Irish people were facing great starvation. People were very discouraged. The famine began with fungus growing over the crops in Irish farmlands. Potatoes were important, because they were the most abundant product on farms in Ireland. There was not enough food in the farmlands either. The Irish depen...

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...f reasons to leave the country were the Potato Famine, the issues with the British government, illness and the church made people leave due to British control. This was the introduction and conclusion to the Irish culture, because they fought from the famine through the Monday morning of 1914 when the Easter Uprising created riots on Britain amongst the people of Ireland. This was the greatest movement in Irish history, known as the Fenian Movement.

Work Cited

Considine, Bob. It’s the Irish. New York: Doubleday and Company Inc., 1961.

D’Arcy, William. The Fenian Movement in the United States 1858-1886. New York: Russell, 1947.

McKay, Donald. Flight from Famine. New York: University Press. 1979.

Ruddy, Michael. “An Irish Army in America.” Civil War Times 42 (2003) 1-8.

“Fenian.” Webster’s Collegiate Seventh Edition Series Dictionary. 2000 ed.
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