The legacy of Oliver Cromwell is still haunts the Irish imagination. His alleged directive to the Catholic Irish to get "to Hell or Connaught", and the policy that drove it, permanently altered the ownership of Irish soil.The Parliamentary forces' civil war against Charles I were enmeshed in a ruthless campaign against popery and the Catholic perpetrators of the assault on the Protestant colonists of 1641. The legacy of sectarianism has marred Irish politics to this day. Prendergast's research reveals his keen eye for evidence. His dismissal of the colonists' claims about the nature of the uprising of 1641 and his attitudes to race are contested, but he was a man of his times. More significantly his prejudices did not blind him and he lets his sources speak for themselves, while his analytical mind identifies the underlying economic motivation and forces behind the apparently civilising religious mission driving the settlement.
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