Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"... Ulster Scots ... dissenting traditions ... broadly suspicious of central authority ... unwillingness to accept the political authority of urban elites ..."

Gettysburg Confederate flag


Now doesn’t that sound familiar, and as if it were written just in the past few months? So says this article on the website Journal of the American Revolution from May 2014, entitled ‘Ireland and the American Revolution’, by Matthew P. Dziennik.

Over the past few months regular readers will have seen the vast Ulster-Scots imprint along the road towards the American Republic. On 28 July 1775 the leaders of the emerging new nation wrote an Address to the People of Ireland (online here), which was signed off by John Hancock. It is easy to imagine that the many Ulster-Scots around him were at his elbow as the words were being penned. Similar addresses were written to the people of Great Britain, Canada and Jamaica.

It also raises an interesting question - that for our ancestors, and the global diaspora, liberty was/is more important than nationality. Even in the Thomas Sinclair-penned words of the 1912 Ulster Covenant, ‘civil and religious freedom’ came before ‘citizenship’ and ‘Empire’.

Let’s be honest, some ‘Ulster-American’ stuff is pretty poor. I am ever more convinced there is a vast and credible story still to be fully uncovered, by people much smarter than me.