Britishness, the United Kingdom and the Revolutions of 1848

Belchem, John
June 1999
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Summer99, Vol. 64 Issue 2, p143
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the impact of the 1848 European revolution on ethnicity in Great Britain. The Irish revolution of 1848 was to collapse in farcical confrontation in Widow McCormack's cabbage-patch in Ballingarry, County Tipperary in late July. Having trapped an advance guard of police in the widow's farmhouse, the leaders of the national insurgency and their small band of followers took hasty flight through the adjacent cabbage field when armed police arrived from Tipperary town. Having been labelled as Irish, migrants from various regions, clans, factions and other filiations came together in national assertion in the political excitement of 1848. Working through Ribbonite networks in 1848, Irish nationalist leaders in Liverpool reached deep into the migrant community. Relations with the British Chartists, however, proved more strained. In putting Britishness to the test, 1848 underlined the rules of the game. It was a lesson which some Irish and other outsiders within Great Britain were quick to learn.


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