Due to the vagaries of the lunar calendar, the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin is either just past us or coming up in late April.Read the whole thing there.
In either case, today is a convenient occasion for trying to put Irish history into some sort of long-term perspective. The 1916 attempted nationalist putsch (while the British were otherwise occupied on the Western Front) eventually led to the 26 southern counties of Ireland finally achieving independence after about 750 years of getting shoved around by England.
To talk about Ireland inevitably leads to the domineering subject of England. It’s admittedly unfair to Ireland, but understanding Irish history requires grasping something of what made England uniquely influential in molding the modern world. As English philosopher John Stuart Mill observed in 1866:
Ireland is not an exceptional country; but England is. Irish circumstances and Irish ideas as to social and agricultural economy are the general ideas of the human race; it is English circumstances and English ideas that are peculiar.
This article includes several ideas I’ve been kicking around for a long time and have finally aired.