Rituals and Riots: Sectarian Violence and Political Culture in Ulster, 1784-1886

Overview

Winner of the Donald Murphy Prize given by the American Conference for Irish Studies Sectarian violence is one of the defining characteristics of the modern Ulster experience. Riots between Catholic and Protestant crowds occurred with depressing frequency throughout the nineteenth century, particularly within the constricted spaces of the province's burgeoning industrial capital, Belfast. From the Armagh Troubles in 1784 to the Belfast Riots of 1886, ritual confrontations led to regular outbreaks of sectarian ...

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Overview

Winner of the Donald Murphy Prize given by the American Conference for Irish Studies Sectarian violence is one of the defining characteristics of the modern Ulster experience. Riots between Catholic and Protestant crowds occurred with depressing frequency throughout the nineteenth century, particularly within the constricted spaces of the province's burgeoning industrial capital, Belfast. From the Armagh Troubles in 1784 to the Belfast Riots of 1886, ritual confrontations led to regular outbreaks of sectarian conflict. This, in turn, helped keep Catholic/Protestant antagonism at the heart of political and cultural discussion in the north of Ireland. Rituals and Riots has at its core a subject frequently ignored — the rioters themselves. Rather than focusing on political and religious leaders in a top-down model, Sean Farrell demonstrates how lower-class attitudes gave rise to violent clashes and dictated the responses of the elite. Farrell also penetrates the stereotypical images of the Irish Catholic as untrustworthy rebel and the Ulster Protestant as foreign oppressor in his discussion of the style and structure of nineteenth-century sectarian riots. Farrell analyzes the critical relationship between Catholic/ Protestant violence and the formation of modern Ulster's fractured, denominationally based political culture. Grassroots violence fostered and maintained the antagonism between Ulster Unionists and Irish Nationalists, which still divides contemporary politics. By focusing on the links between public ritual, sectarian riots, and politics, Farrell reinterprets nineteenth-century sectarianism, showing how lower-class Protestants and Catholics kept religious division at the center of public debate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Winner of the 2001 Donald Murphy Prize given by the American Conference for Irish Studies." —

"Examines the key role of public rituals in this tradition of violence, particularly the Orange processions and their relationship to the outbreak of Catholic/Protestant riots." — Book News

"Essential for an understanding of current sectarian disturbances in Northern Ireland." — Choice

"Provides new insights into the sectarian violence and political culture in pre-famine Ulster." — Ethnic Conflict Research Digest

"An ideal introductory survey of its topic." — Albion

Booknews
Farrel (history, Newberry College) considers the political and cultural impact of sectarian rioting in nineteenth-century Ulster. He examines the key role of public ritual in this tradition of violence, particularly the Orange processions and their relationship to the outbreak of Catholic/Protestant riots. He also studies the style and structure of these riots, the lower-class attitudes that gave rise to violence, and the rioters themselves. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813192338
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 2/27/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Study of Sectarian Violence and Modern Ulster History 1
1 Trouble in Armagh, 1784-1798 10
2 The Orange Order and Catholic Resistance, 1795-1820 32
3 National Politics and Sectarian Violence, 1821-1829 65
4 Ritual and Sectarian Violence 102
5 Urbanization and Sectarian Rioting in Mid-Victorian Ulster 125
6 The Campaign to Repeal the Party Processions Act, 1860-1872 154
Conclusion: Sectarian Violence and the Formation of Modern Ulster Politics 174
Notes 186
Bibliography 222
Index 238
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