Ulster Presbyterians and the Scots Irish Diaspora, 1750-1764

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2013-11-25
Publisher(s): Palgrave Macmillan
List Price: $105.00

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The migration of roughly 250,000 Irish Protestants to the British North American Colonies marked one of the largest transatlantic movements of Europeans during the eighteenth century. Traditionally historians have structured their examinations of the
Scots Irish, as this group is known in the United States, within a narrative framework beginning in the province of Ulster and ending on the frontiers of North America. In so doing, they have paid little attention to how large-scale emigration transformed the culture and life strategies of the Irish communities that fed the exodus.

Ulster Presbyterians and the Scots Irish Diaspora examines how news regarding the violent struggle to control the borderlands of British North America between 1750 and 1764 resonated among communities in Ireland with familial links to the colonies. Nowhere were these links more firmly established than in the Irish province of Ulster, a region that supplied the largest proportion of European migrants to the Appalachian backcountry during the colonial period. Bankhurst argues that war on the colonial frontier and the arrival of American fundraising drives in Ireland collapsed emotional and spatial distance and produced a sense of empathy among Ulster Presbyterians for their beleaguered kin across the ocean. This empathy was the foundation of a new imperial outlook in Ireland and led to greater popular enthusiasm for British expansion in North America.

Author Biography

Benjamin Bankhurst is currently a Research Assistant on the Dissenting Academy Libraries project at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. He completed his PhD in history at King's College London and his research explores the interrelated histories of eighteenth-century Ireland and colonial North America resulting from mass migration.

Table of Contents

Introduction: John Moore's Crossing, 1760
1. Atlantic Migration and North America in the Irish Presbyterian Imagination
2. The Press, Associational Culture and Popular Imperialism in Ulster, 1750-1764
3. He Never Wants for Suitable Instruments: The Seven Years War as a War of Religion
4. Sorrowful Spectators: Ulster Presbyterian Opinion and American Frontier Atrocity
5. An Infant Sister Church, in Great Distress, Amidst a Great Wilderness: American Presbyterian Fundraising in Ireland, 1752-1763
Postscript: John Moore's Return and Reflections on America, 1763

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