Together and Apart: Anglo-Irish Agreements, 1886-1986

Roy Forster takes a closer look at the history of Home Rule and Union over the last century.

Irish history is about far more than Anglo-Irish relations, even if some textbooks appear unaware of the fact. But recent events have forced that one dimension into prominence, leading one to reflect on the repetitive nature of attempts to redefine the relationship between the two islands. One of the most interesting commentaries on the topic, Oliver MacDonagh's States of Mind, devotes a chapter to setting the 1790s alongside the 1970s to stress repetitive and parallel patterns: with the Hillsborough agreement last November, has the most recent period of constitutional realignment ended with a coup as significant as the Act of Union?

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