1798 Rebellion in Ireland

Many people in Ireland were not happy with how Ireland was ruled by the king in England. Ireland had a parliament in Dublin, but most of the time it could only pass laws that the king of England agreed with. When the American colonies broke free from England, some people hoped that Ireland would be able to become free from English rule also. People liked the ideas of liberty and equality, which they heard about during the French Revolution.

American War of Independence

In North America in the 18th century, there were thirteen states called colonies which were ruled by the king of England . There was a war between America and England from 1775 until 1783 called the American War of Independence. The American settlers were known as colonists and were led by George Washington.

The British troops were known as 'redcoats'. They were not suited for war in the colonies as they could easily be spotted as targets.

America won this war and became a new country with its own government. The American rebels had been helped in the war by soldiers sent by the king of France.

The French Revolution

In 1789, a revolution began in France against the French king, King Louis XVI, and the rich nobles. This was known as the French Revolution. The king and queen and thousands of nobles were put to death and a new type of government, a Republic, was set up in France.

The following were the last words of King Louis XVI just before he was beheaded:

I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.”

After the execution of the king, France did not have a monarch again. The ideas of the French Revolution soon spread to other countries, including Ireland.

The United Irishmen

In 1791, a group called the United Irishmen were set up. They wanted Irish people of all faiths to unite and create an Irish Republic which would give rights to everyone. In 1798, they tried to defeat the British by starting a rebellion.

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