chapter  4
10 Pages

The Irish and others in Irish nineteenth-century textbooks

ByJohn Coolahan

With the Tudor conquest of the late sixteenth century Ireland became the nearest external English colony and, in ways characteristic of colonized countries, the customs, language, dress and general culture of the inhabitants appalled and, at times, fascinated the colonizers. Expanding, colonizing states usually adopted attitudes of conscious superiority towards other peoples in their path whom they aimed to conquer. Ireland fell into the general pattern of English colonial expansion. As D.B. Quinn remarked:

The earliest stages of contact between Englishmen and non-English cultures were likely to be governed by the desire to define and limit their inferiority (or non-Englishness) and to find ways of forcing them into a new English pattern, reforming them or obliterating them.1