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The Irish in the Atlantic World

David T. Gleeson

Publication Year: 2012

The Irish in the Atlantic World presents a transnational and comparative view of the Irish historical and cultural experiences as phenomena transcending traditional chronological, topical, and ethnic paradigms. Edited by David T. Gleeson, this collection of essays offers a robust new vision of the global nature of the Irish diaspora within the Atlantic context from the eighteenth century to the present and makes original inroads for new research in Irish studies. These essays from an international cast of scholars vary in their subject matter from investigations into links between Irish popular music and the United States—including the popularity of American blues music in Belfast during the 1960s and the influences of Celtic balladry on contemporary singer Van Morrison—to a discussion of the migration of Protestant Orangemen to America and the transplanting of their distinctive non-Catholic organizations. Other chapters explore the influence of American politics on the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922, manifestations of nineteenth-century temperance and abolition movements in Irish communities, links between slavery and Irish nationalism in the formation of Irish identity in the American South, the impact of yellow fever on Irish and black labor competition on Charleston's waterfront, the fate of the Irish community at Saint Croix in the Danish West Indies, and other topics. These multidisciplinary essays offer fruitful explanations of how ideas and experiences from around the Atlantic influenced the politics, economics, and culture of Ireland, the Irish people, and the societies where Irish people settled. Taken collectively, these pieces map the web of connectivity between Irish communities at home and abroad as sites of ongoing negotiation in the development of a transatlantic Irish identity.

Published by: University of South Carolina Press

Series: The Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World


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pp. 1-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

This project was conceived and encouraged by Simon Lewis, my codirector of the Program in the Carolina Low country and the Atlantic World (CLAW) when I came to the College of Charleston in the fall of 2002. He has been supportive of it in all kinds of ways through all stages. No one could ask for a better colleague and collaborator. ...

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The Irish Atlantic?

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pp. 1-16

In July 2000 at a meeting of the American Bar Association held in Dublin, the minister of enterprise and tánaiste (deputy prime minister) of the Irish government, Mary Harney, in a speech describing Ireland’s relationship with the European Union (EU) and the United States, stated, “Geographically we [the Irish people] are closer to Berlin than Boston.” ...

Part I: Ireland in the Atlantic World

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Mathewite Temperance in Atlantic Perspective

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pp. 19-37

Outside his native Ireland, Father Theobald Mathew would rank high on any list of the forgotten famous of the last two centuries. Yet in his own day, Mathew, along with Daniel O’Connell, was indisputably the most popular man in Ireland, and over the course of the nineteenth century, halls, statues, and towers were erected in his honor all over Ireland, ...

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The Anatomy of Failure: Nineteenth-Century Irish Copper Mining in the Atlantic and Global Economy

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pp. 38-52

The widely held image of nineteenth-century Ireland as having an almost exclusively agricultural economy has truncated our understanding of Ireland’s economy. Without denying the dominant role agriculture played in the Irish economy at that time, other aspects deserve attention. One of these is copper mining. ...

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Transatlantic Migrations of Irish Music in the Early Recording Age

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pp. 53-75

In the early twentieth century, recordings of Irish musicians in America had a major impact on traditional musicians in both Irish America and Ireland. This idea has often been repeated in Irish music circles, and academic discourse surrounding the movement of these recordings generally includes a version of the same generic sentence: ...

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The “Idea of America” in the New Irish State, 1922–1960

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pp. 76-106

Much has been written about the extent, nature, and significance of the links and ties that bind Ireland and the United States together, particularly in the period 1856 to 1914.1 Kevin Kenny recently noted that the study of Irish America in the twentieth century is still in its infancy.2 ...

Part II: Irish Identity in the Atlantic World

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“The Transmigrated Soul of Some West Indian Planter”: Absenteeism, Slavery, and the Irish National Tale

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pp. 109-128

The complexities of Irish identity in the eighteenth century shaped and were shaped by Ireland’s varied roles within the British Empire. As historian Alvin Jackson argues, “Irish people were simultaneously major participants in Empire, and a significant source of subversion. ...

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Slavery, Irish Nationalism, and Irish American Identity in the South, 1840–1845

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pp. 129-153

In 1840 Daniel O’Connell launched the first mass nationalist movement in Ireland when he formed the Loyal National Repeal Association (LNRA) to agitate for the end of the Irish parliamentary union with Great Britain. The movement focused on repealing the British Act of Union of 1800, an act conservative Protestants in England and Ireland had conceived ...

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“From the Cabins of Connemara to the Kraals of Kaffirland”: Irish Nationalists, the British Empire, and the “Boer Fight for Freedom”

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pp. 154-175

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, white settler regimes from Canada to Australasia to southern Africa aggressively demanded the right of selfdetermination for themselves and gradually achieved dominion status within the framework of an emerging British Empire / Commonwealth. ...

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Kathleen O’Brennan and American Identity in the Transatlantic Irish Republican Movement

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pp. 176-194

Historians of the factious relationship between American Irish nationalists and Irish politicians in the era of World War I attribute the differences between them to distinct national outlooks. The trans atlantic struggle for Irish independence was contentious, historians of the Friends of Irish Freedom (FOIF) argue, because American concerns were incompatible with Irish ones.1 ...

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“Blues Coming down Royal Avenue”: Van Morrison’s Belfast Blues

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pp. 195-210

In 1964 nineteen-year-old Van Morrison was at a loose end in Belfast. He was a hardened veteran of the Irish showband scene, having played in the Monarchs since 1960, playing shows in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and England. Showbands were lucrative, but the limitations of the form frustrated Morrison. ...

Part III: The Irish in the Atlantic World

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The “Quadripartite Concern” of St. Croix: An Irish Catholic Experiment in the Danish West Indies

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pp. 213-228

St. Croix lies forty miles to the southeast of Puerto Rico and some ninety miles to the northwest of the British Leeward Islands.1 However, the island’s isolated appearance on the map belies its strategic position at the crossroads of Caribbean commerce, particularly during the mid-eighteenth century. ...

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The Irish and the Formation of British Communities in Early Massachusetts

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pp. 229-250

One evening in May 1661, Philip Welsh and William Downing strode into their master’s parlor just before prayers and delivered an astonishing challenge. The two men, indentured servants to Ipswich magistrate Samuel Symonds, declared, “We will worke with you, or for you, noe longer. . . . We have served you seven years, we thinke that is longe enough.” ...

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From Ulster to the Carolinas: John Torrans, John Greg, John Poaug, and Bounty Emigration, 1761–1768

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pp. 251-274

“But of all other countries, none has furnished the province with so many inhabitants as Ireland,” South Carolina’s first historian wrote in 1779. The Reverend Alexander Hewatt observed that the spirit of emigration from “the northern counties of that kingdom” to America was so strong in the 1760s and 1770s as to threaten “almost a total depopulation” of the Irish province of Ulster. ...

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“The Unacclimated Stranger Should Be Positively Prohibited from Joining the Party”: Irish Immigrants, Black Laborers, and Yellow Fever on Charleston’s Waterfront

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pp. 275-306

Irishmen labored on waterfronts throughout the Atlantic World in the nineteenth century. Although the work these Irish waterfront laborers performed was, more or less, similar regardless of the geographical location of the port, those who worked upon the wharves and transported goods to and from the waterfronts of port cities in the antebellum American South ...

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The Orange Atlantic

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pp. 307-326

After three decades of conflict, the recent political settlement in Northern Ireland has inevitably led to new light being cast onto the Orange Order, an organization closely associated with the Protestant-Unionist hegemony in the province. The political situation has transformed so radically that the power base of the Protestant majority has been permanently eroded, ...

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pp. 327-328

Catherine M. Bums received a master’s degree in history at the University of Massachusetts and is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison. ...


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pp. 329-341

E-ISBN-13: 9781611172201
Print-ISBN-13: 9781570039089

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: The Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World