Defining the nation: Recent historiography and Irish nationalism

Richard English*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


definition of Irish national identity. Catholicism’s growing importance in this identity is shown by comparing the eighteenth century United Irishmen, who combined secular and sectarian republicanism, the romantic nationalism of the nineteenth century Young Ireland movement, and the almost exclusively Catholic Irish Republican Army of this century. However, this Catholic, Gaelic, separatist identity excluded Protestant, non-Gaelic and unionist Irish people. The author concludes by rejecting the notion of ‘an immemorial Irish nation, unfolding holistically through the centuries' to stress discontinuities over time and the wider geographical setting of the British Isles. This article considers problems raised in recent historical scholarship concerning the.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 1995

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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