History of Ireland

The term paper is a research project that requires you to articulate and defend a thesis
statement through the use of primary and/or secondary resources. The length requirement
is a minimum of 1500 words (which is roughly the equivalent of 2 pages), exclusive of
notes and headings, and standard formatting (single space, 1 in margins, Times
New Roman font) should be employed. All sources must be accurately cited in Chicago
format. The Online Writing Law (OWL) through Perdue University provides a helpful guide

Use of sources policy:

You must cite a minimum of 2 scholarly, authoritative sources in
the course of your argument. These should be outside sources, beyond your courseassigned
text books. The course texts may be referenced as well, but your research
should extend beyond them. Scholarly, authoritative sources would include peerreviewed
journal articles (see JSTOR), monographs (scholarly books), and appropriate
government or university-sponsored webpages (i.e. “.edu” or “.gov”). While you may
use sources such as Wikipedia or popular history sites to get oriented with your topic,
they should not be employed as authoritative evidence in your paper. When employing
quotations, you should only utilize a small segment that directly pertains to your
argument. When a long quote is absolutely necessary, it must be indented and singlespaced.
Keep in mind, however, that quotations should be used to support your own
argument, not to make statements for you. Simple details and common knowledge facts
should not be quoted. All quoted or directly referenced material should be cited using
footnotes per Chicago manual of style.
Optional Topic Prompts
Important Note: The topic prompts offered below are optional, and you are permitted to
formulate your own topics as well. Just ensure that your chosen topic provides you with
a clear and defendable thesis statement. If you are unsure if your topic represents a clear
and defendable thesis, please feel to confer with me or the T.A. about it. Please also
understand that the below are PROMPTS, not thesis statements. Each prompt offers two
(or more) potential positions to defend. YOU must pick a side in order to formulate and
defend it as a thesis.

  1. There has long been controversy surrounding the use of the term ‘Celtic’ in Irish
    History. Discuss the meaning of ‘Celt’ to the Irish revolutionary movements. Do
    you think the politicization of the term ‘Celt’ has effected the debate regarding the
    study of past Celtic-speaking peoples and their origins?
  2. Ireland is often called ‘the Isle of Saints’ due to the many highly influential
    church intellectuals that were born and trained in Ireland before migrating to
    continental courts. Discuss the influence of the Irish peregrini movement on
    continental Christianity. Is it accurate to claim that the Irish “saved civilization”?
  3. Discuss the role that the Vikings invasions played in Ireland. Was their impact
    negative, positive, or a balance of the two?
  4. Discuss the career of Brian Boru. How accurate is the depiction of Brian as the
    ‘savior of Ireland’ from the foreign threat of the Vikings? In the end, what would
    you consider to be Brian’s most enduring legacies in Irish history?
  5. Critics of the English government’s policies during the Great Famine have raised
    the charge of genocide since the time of the Famine itself. How do the events of
    the Famine compare to current UN definitions of Genocide, and in what ways is
    the accusation justified or not justified?
  6. Discuss the role of the Norman invasion and subsequent English colony in
    Ireland. Was their impact negative, positive, or a balance of the two?
  7. Do you see a relationship between Daniel O’Connell’s peaceful resistance
    movement and the physical force movements that followed? Why or why not?
  8. Critically examine the events leading up to and after the Easter Rising of 1916.
    Was the Rising a dismal failure or the spark to the flame of Irish freedom? Would
    an independent Ireland have been inevitable without the Rising, or was it a
    necessary catalyst?
  9. Critically examine the events of the War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish
    Treaty of 1921. Was the Treaty a betrayal of 1916 or the only real path to achieve
    freedom for Ireland?

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