© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/157006511X552589 Journal of Early Modern History 15 (2011) 31-57 brill.nl/jemh Civil Autonomy and Military Power in Early Modern Ireland Micheál Ó Siochrú Trinity College Dublin Abstract The transformation of Irish towns in the early modern period (from bastions of English loyalism, to centers of Catholic resistance, to stridently Protestant colonial outposts) has received relatively little attention from historians. Instead, scholars have focused on the major land transfers of the seventeenth century, but the change in urban settlement pat- terns proved even more dramatic and was closely related to the positioning of civic com- munities in relation to the military struggles of the 1640s and 1650s. The central argument is that the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland marked a crucial and irrevocable transforma- tion in both the possibilities of civic militarism and the nature of urban society and politics more generally. It demonstrates that during the 1640s, the citizens of Ireland’s major pro- vincial cities participated in the troubles through strategic neutralism and the retention (or careful negotiation) of military force, acting with the fortunes of the citizenry in mind. This approach continued a tradition of relative civic autonomy, which was probably more
Journal of Early Modern History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: seventeenth century; Ormond; civic communities; history; military; Ireland; Urban; Cromwell
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