The Causes And Effects Of The Nine Years War

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The Nine Years War and its aftermath are without question one of the great turning points of Irish history. In addition to witnessing the zenith of Gaelic military power and sophistication, perversely, it also led to the final destruction of native military and political power. Despite the apparent modernisation of the native Irish forces it is not hard to find articles and attitudes which view the war as a contest of the backward and militarily weak Irish, against the modern armies of Elizabeth I. The historian John Keegan noted that, the way a person fought was a cultural expression. Following on from this, the image of primitive and obsolete styles of warfare by the native Irish could imply a culture which was also archaic and resistant to change. Indeed the proclivity to or rejection of change has been an ongoing debate in the historiography of early modern Ireland. However, the Nine Years War was not a clash of cultures with the pike and shot forces of the English being initially bested by the noble but yet primitive Irish in a courageous but …show more content…
Frequently quoted authors have provided thorough accounts of the native Irish soldiery. Edmund Spenser vividly described native warfare in A view of the state of Ireland. Written in 1596, Spenser noted how the Irish kerne ran into battle with a terrible yell and hubbub, and were armed with little more than swords, bows and shields. They were unarmoured save a thick lock of hair called glibbs, which were said to be able to bear ‘a good stroke’. In battle tactics Spenser accorded the Irish little skill as, ‘Their confused kind of march in heaps, without any order or array, their clashing of swords together, their fierce running upon their enemies, and their manner of fight, resembles altogether that which is read in all histories to have been used of the

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