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How did the Irish in Ireland view the Civil War?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by major bill, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    The Irish view of the American Civil War varied from one Irish nationalist to the next. William Smith O'Brien was a leading Irish nationalist who in general supported the Confederacy and urged the Union to make peace. He even supported French intervention.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017

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  3. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 Sergeant Major Trivia Game Winner

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    I'm guessing Pat Young will respond on this subject.
     
  4. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Oscar Wilde was a huge Jefferson Davis fan and visted Davis and his family post Civil War in Mississippi. The book "Jefferson Davis American" has more details. Mr.Davis was not overly welcoming vs Mrs. Davis and her daughter.
    On the other hand the only Irish opinion that counted was in the good old USA. We know what side the majority of Irish immigrants fought for.
    Leftyhunter
     
  5. Desert Kid

    Desert Kid Sergeant Major

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    Well, aside from my avatar. Or Dick Dowling You know.

    Interesting thing about Cleburne. He was born and bred Irishman, trying keep the family fed after failing the bar as a doctor he joined the 41st Regiment of Foot. An outfit that held down his fellow Irishmen during the Potato Famine. An Irishman watching his own people being held down and nothing he could do about it without risking himself and his own family.

    I think, when Arkansas seceded, he didn't want to repeat that.
     
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  6. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Cleburne was no doubt valuable to the Confederacy. My point is that what the Irish felt in Ireland was not to important since they had no political influence in the UK. The Irish immigrants political views were certainly important to both sides since they could vote and fight or not.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  7. Irishtom29

    Irishtom29 Corporal

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    Cleburne was an Anglo-Irish Protestant and from the bourgeoisie, not a typical Harp.
     
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  8. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    One thing I learned from studying the "Troubles" is if you place three Irishmen together you will get 4 political opinions and 4 to 5 separate armed factions. Same with certain other ethnic religious groups including mine ( born Jewish but I love me some pork and non Jewish ladies)
    At best we can say at a given time X group favors Y political party by Z percentage at
    a given moment in time.
    Maybe @Pat Young can verify this; the average Irish man or women in the 1860s was just trying to make it thorough the day. The few with money would have various opinions.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  9. John Hartwell

    John Hartwell Captain Forum Host

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    Many Irish, saw in the plantation aristocracy of the South a reflection of Ireland's Protestant Ascendency, the minority of Anglo-Irish landowners, Protestant clergy and members of the professions upon whom English domination relied. Others saw only a poorer section resisting a rich and powerful central government. Many, of course, had relatives in America, and formed their opinions based on the letters emigrant kin wrote home.

    There was no "one" viewpoint.
     
  10. John Hartwell

    John Hartwell Captain Forum Host

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  11. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    Agree with Lefty. They were more worried about the potato crop than, as someone here said, "saving Democracy."
     
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  12. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Not to mention the whiskey crop:twins:
    crop. I myself enjoy a shot of the Jameson in peppermint tea strictly for medicinal purposes.
    Leftyhunter
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  13. Pat Young

    Pat Young Colonel Forum Host

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    Catholic Archbishop Cullen of Dublin was notoriously pro-Peace and anti-Fenian. He claimed that pro-Union sentiments were the result of Fenian liberal agitation. Many in the hierarchy branded Thomas Francis Meagher, the revolutionary hero who started the Irish Brigade, as a "Red Republican."

    The hierarchy had also battled The Liberator Dan O'Connell, who was pro-abolition. He had been viewed by the hierarchy as a radical as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  14. Pat Young

    Pat Young Colonel Forum Host

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    The Times of London observed how divided the nationalists were on the topic of the Civil War:

    "it is curious to find geentlenen who would probably
    be members of a provisional government in Ireland, if they would
    carry out their theories and establish an Irish Republic, holding such conflicting opinions as to the right of nations and communities to govern themselves." Dec. 7, 1863
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  15. RobertP

    RobertP Major

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    Amen brother. Twice I have bought a bottle of Middleton whiskey after being introduced to it by a friend on a fishing trip. Very pricey but absolutely the smoothest drink you'll ever have.
     
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  16. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Ironically if I am not mistaken many of the Unionist guerrillas were of Protestant Irish origin particularly in Western North Carolina.Politically the Irish or very difficult to pigeonhole.
    Leftyhunter
     
  17. Pat Young

    Pat Young Colonel Forum Host

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    A whole subject in itself. In Ireland, Presbyterians tended to favor the Union and Anglicans favored the Confederacy. Quakers were anti-slavery but opposed the war.
     
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  18. uaskme

    uaskme Corporal

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    About everything I have read the Irish Immigrants were pro slavery and Democrats. Also the Catholics. Most Immigrants were Democrats then as they are now. The Whigs were Protestant Nativist. Nativist evolved from break up of the Whigs. That had some
    Success in the early 1850s. They joined the early Republicans. The Election in 1856 Republicans lost the western States because of Nativist rhetoric and the too Radical Fremont. Republicans denounced the Nativist view and especially Lincoln courted the Germans. Republicans knew they would not get the Irish or Catholic vote.

    Irish competed with Blacks economically. They were better off, or thought they were if Blacks remained in Slavery.

    Why people fought is another question. Lower Classes
    Fought for recognition and acceptance. And their Economic position.
     
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  19. Pat Young

    Pat Young Colonel Forum Host

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    I would hesitate to conclude that anti-abolition was the same as pro-slavery.
     
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  20. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    I never thought about how Irish Protestants lined up politically. I would imagine they were all over the map. I could see why Irish Catholics were mostly Democrats until say the late 1960's and definitely by 1980 supporting Reagan . Overall from what I gather most young Irish American men wanted to be neutral with some major exceptions to the rule on both sides. Maybe @Pat Young might have a different take.
    Leftyhunter
     
  21. Desert Kid

    Desert Kid Sergeant Major

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    While true that Cleburne grew up Episcopalian and was heavily influenced by his English mother he deeply identified as an Irishman.

    Had Cleburne been alive a century later, he and people like him would have been targeted during the Troubles. Though, ironically enough I can still see Cleburne as an Irish nationalist despite that.

    Oy the Fenians! Now there's a kettle of stinky rotten fish!
     

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