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Filibusters, Fenians and a contested neutrality: the Irish question and U.S. diplomacy, 1848-1871

Sim, D; (2011) Filibusters, Fenians and a contested neutrality: the Irish question and U.S. diplomacy, 1848-1871. American Nineteenth Century History , 12 (3) 265 - 287. 10.1080/14664658.2011.626161.

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Abstract

The period from the late 1840s to the early 1870s represented a distinct one in Irish-American politics. This article frames Irish-American nationalists active in this period as nonstate actors seeking to influence the course of U.S. foreign relations to serve their own interests. In particular, it focuses on the activities of the Fenian Brotherhood and an earlier, less well-known organization, the Robert Emmet Club. The actions of both highlighted the looseness of U.S. neutrality legislation and, ultimately, provided a compelling argument for Anglo-American rapprochement. Simultaneously, in the immediate postbellum years, U.S. statesmen had reason to manipulate the Irish question to further their own ends. As Anglo-American relations improved, however, the geopolitical value of Irish nationalism declined; Irish-American nationalists were left marginalized in the calculations of U.S. diplomats.

Type:Article
Title:Filibusters, Fenians and a contested neutrality: the Irish question and U.S. diplomacy, 1848-1871
DOI:10.1080/14664658.2011.626161
Publisher version:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14664658.2011.626161
Keywords:Cincinnati, Fenian Brotherhood, filibustering, Irish-American nationalism, neutrality
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > History

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