The Great Turning Points Of Irish History Essay

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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 inevitably doomed effort to throw off English rule, but one which bore many hallmarks of warfare which was raging in France and the Low Countries.
At the end of the sixteenth century continental warfare was experiencing what some have called the Military Revolution. The key indicators of this revolution was the growth of army size, development of disciplined firepower-centric infantry, construction of trace itallienne…

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