Nineteenth-Century Irish Migration and ‘Four Nations’ History

I’m having a great time trawling through the fournationshistory blog. I’ve reblogged this thought-provoking post: four nations/two islands.

Four Nations History Network

Nineteenth-Century Irish Migration and ‘Four Nations’ History

Professor Don MacRaild (University of Ulster) investigates the challenges to four nations approaches presented by the history of Irish migration.

Traditionally, national differences or interregional varieties have been relatively minor considerations in the historiography of the Irish in Britain. The majority of works tended to be local or regional studies, which barely reflected on the comparative dimensions with other geographical units; otherwise, studies tended to be thematic and so ranged across the islands, but spent little time delving into explicit national cultural practical differences. Till the Seventies, social sciences methods dominated studies of the Irish in Britain (counting demographic data, for example, was a dominant vogue); otherwise, labour and social histories were influential, whereby the categories of study were class and ethnicity, rather than region and nation.

 For historians approaching the Irish experience from the political left, there were more similarities than differences between…

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