Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Introductory meeting & 6 x 2 hour seminars and tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 X 4000 WORD ESSAY UNASSESSED & 1 X 6000 WORD ASSESSED  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
Identify the primary historical sources used by historians in reconstructing the history of the 1798 rebellion.

Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant historiography, its evolution and the key problems currently addressed by historians in this field.

Discuss with others the interpretative problems and prospects associated with this topic.

Illustrate, analyse and evaluate the surviving evidence and the associated historiography in an extended written discussion.

Brief description

This seminar series has been designed to allow students to study in some depth the history, the impact and the historiographical controversy surrounding the Irish rebellion of 1798. Following the French Revolution, and failed campaigns for parliamentary reform and Catholic relief, Ireland witnessed a wave of popular politicisation, which, in combination with an upsurge in sectarianism, resulted in a rebellion by the United Irishmen and their Catholic Defender allies. Formerly the focal point of the rebellion, in county Wexford, has been portrayed as a spontaneous, disorganised and savage outbreak of sectarianism led by priests. Recent work by historians, however, has done much to revise this picture. This course will examine the nature of the Wexford rebellion, along with the uprisings in other areas of Ireland. Attention will also be paid to the response by the British government, which initially took the form of brutal military action, and later in a legislative union


This module equips students to investigate an aspect of eighteenth-century Irish history in depth, through the analysis of sources of different types in combination with an up-to-date appraisal of historical interpretations of the period.


Introductory meeting and:
1. Ireland and the French revolution
2. The United Irishmen and Defenders
3. Counter-Insurgency and the British `Terror?
4. The Rebellion in Wexford
5. Aftermath and Union
6. Historiography off the 1798 Rebellion

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Seminar discussion and essay-writing. The latter is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Seminar and tutorial discussion; tutors’ feedback.
Information Technology Locating source materials and surveying the historiography on the subject requires the use of various search tools. Essay-writing and presentation
Personal Development and Career planning Studying the module puts students in direct contact with librarians and archivists at the National Library and elsewhere in the course of locating primary sources and the development of the historiography
Problem solving Demonstrating an understanding of the origins and nature of the Irish rebellion of 1798. Assessed through the essays.
Research skills Locating and examining primary source materials. Assessed through the essays.
Subject Specific Skills Develop a knowledge of, and familiarity with, a range of different Irish and British manuscript and newspaper sources.
Team work Seminar work


This module is at CQFW Level 7