Ireland: Prehistory to Present Day


This course will examine the full range of Irish history by
addressing the major events, organizations and characters
in the segments which have been identified by
professional historians. A goal is to create for class participants
a framework for understanding the complex and
colorful history of this island and the divisions which have
made Irish history atypical among European countries.
The course will begin with a look at the map of Ireland,
as the location of the provinces and counties will be useful
throughout the course.

After a brief look at Irish prehistory, including the arrival
of the Celts, the course will examine the coming of
Christianity and the first written records; the Viking and
Norman/English incursions; the period of the kings and
warlords which was curtailed at the time of Henry VIII;
the religious tensions and violence which culminated in
Cromwell’s invasion at the end of the English Civil War;
the growing Protestant ascendency; union and famine;
the Home Rule Movement; the creation of the Irish Free
State; and the gradual emergence of the Irish Republic.

The current Brexit negotiations are complicated by the
international border between the United Kingdom’s
Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The course
will address the history of that border: Northern Ireland
does not include all of the Irish counties that are part of the
traditional province of Ulster, and the demographics that
supported that border after World War I have changed.

This course is substantially the same as that presented
during the Spring 2019 semester.

Additional Information


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