This book examines the place of imperialism in the cultural, political and economic life of late nineteenth-century Irish society.
It highlights the tensions which arose because Ireland was at the same time both a colonial subject of Britain, yet also shared aspects of the imperial culture which was being formed during this period. It considers how Empire seeped into everyday Irish life, explores how Irish men and Irish women were intimately bound up with British expansionism, with imperial achievements and setbacks enthusiastically covered in many national and local newspapers, and discusses how Irish politicians and students vehemently debated imperial matters in public. It addresses key questions including: What were the similarities and differences with Britain's imperial experience? Was there a general awareness and understanding of the implications of British overseas expansion? How was Ireland's ambiguous role in Britain's imperial enterprise perceived: did the Irish regard themselves as empire-makers, opponents of British national chauvinism, or occupying a more neutral role? Overall, the book provides a nuanced analysis of the impact of the British Empire in Ireland, demonstrating how the Empire was central to Ireland's late nineteenth-century historical experience - for nationalists and unionists alike.