Revolutionary slogans and rhetoric

Published in 18th-19th Century Social Perspectives, 18th–19th - Century History, Features, General, Irish Republican Brotherhood / Fenians, Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2008), Volume 16

‘MEN OF THE CARBERIES. ASSEMBLE IN THE NUMBERS AND STRENGTH OF YOUR MANHOOD! Show that you have the spirit and the aspirations of Freemen, and that you are determined no longer to be ground down under the Oligarch’s sway.’ (National Archives of Ireland)

‘MEN OF THE CARBERIES. ASSEMBLE IN THE NUMBERS AND STRENGTH OF YOUR MANHOOD! Show that you have the spirit and the aspirations of Freemen, and that you are determined no longer to be ground down under the Oligarch’s sway.’ (National Archives of Ireland)

Land League posters were emblazoned with bold headings straight from Lalor and Davis: ‘The Land for the People’ and ‘Ireland for the Irish’. At the bottom of most was stated ‘God Save Ireland’. Many of the posters contained revolutionary slogans and rhetoric evoking Tone and French Revolution republicanism denouncing tyranny and slavery. In the remotest parishes of Ireland phrases such as ‘Down with the oligarchy’, ‘Proclaim to the world your undying detestation of that foul feudalism that robs and ruins’, and ‘Protest against landlord injustice, tyranny and oppression’ appeared on printed advertisements. Slogans utilised the term ‘brothers’, which the secret fraternities, including the IRB and the Clan, used amongst themselves: ‘Brothers, united, our motto shall be the land for the people! The soil must be free!’

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