Ireland

Geographic position:

53.0000° N, 8.0000° W

Event:

Fundraising Tour of Great Britain

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Sources:

"Ireland." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.

General note:

The country of Ireland occupies an island that is located northwest of mainland Europe and west of England. Ireland’s geographic isolation allowed it to develop a unique cultural identity linked to the Gaelic language. During most of the period of Gaelic Ireland, which lasted into the 17th century, there was no single overarching government. Instead, the land was divided into a number of different patchworks controlled by various clans. Christianity was introduced to the island in the fifth century when a wave of missionaries started organizing expeditions to Ireland. Beginning in the 12th century, English kings attempted to establish control over Ireland, culminating in the Plantation of Ulster, a 17th-century project of exporting English law and people in order to colonize Ireland. By the 18th century, England had established a policy of Protestant Ascendancy that favored the Protestant minority, made up of mostly English, over the Catholic majority, made up of mostly Irish. Today, the island is divided politically into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the latter covering one-sixth of the land mass and remaining part of the United Kingdom. In 1765, Wheelock wrote a letter to his supporters in England, Scotland and Ireland imploring them to contribute funds for his Indian school project in the North American colonies so that American-Indians may be “civilized, and taught the Knowledge of the only true God and Saviour.” In 1767, Occom writes to his wife, Mary, from London, telling her that he is headed for the English countryside and that he might even go to Ireland before he returns once again to London.