Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis proposes to examine the campaign of Oliver Cromwell against the Irish in the years 1649-1650, and its immediate and long-range causes. This will be done by examining the campaign itself and the history of the English and Irish from their first meeting to the final confrontation between the Irish and Cromwell.

The introduction looks at the events occurring, in England and Ireland, in 1649 and why Cromwell was called upon to mount a campaign against the Irish.

The first chapter explores the Ulster Rising of 1641 and the eight years of war that followed, culminating in the arrival of Oliver Cromwell in 1649. Cromwell's campaign is highlighted by two massacres, Drogheda and Wexford, committed on his orders, and the after effects of these atrocities.

Chapter two examines the relationship of the English and Irish from their first meeting in 1172 until the Ulster Rising of 1641. The reasons why England invaded Ireland are scrutinized and the long term effects of that invasion are studied.

The third chapter delves into the propaganda that the English used against the Irish and the consequences of that propaganda on both the English and Irish.

Chapter four answers the two major questions of the thesis; Cromwell why did the English hate the Irish and why did resort to such violence in his campaign.