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The Fenian movement and Canada

Last modified: 2015-07-04 by rob raeside
Keywords: canada | fenian movment | irish harp | shamrock |
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The Fenian Movement and Canada

Many Irish immigrants to the United States in the 1840's and 50's carried intense patriotic feeling for their home country, which found expression in the Fenian movement. As a result of military experience gained in the US Civil War, one faction of the Fenian movement proposed to invade British North America (Canada) from the US in order to gain leverage to persuade the British to leave Ireland. Fenian raids into Canada were one factor in the confederation of British colonies into the Dominion of Canada. A lithograph printed in Buffalo, New York, 1869 (in the Public Archives of Canada), entitled "Desperate Charge of the Fenians under Col. O'Neil, New Ridgeway Station, June 2, 1866, and total route (sic) of the British Troops" shows the Fenian flag: Green with a gold Irish harp centered: two gold three-branched sprigs of shamrock are arranged on either side, and the initials I R A in gold capital letters are placed above the harp.
Peter Cawley - 30 May 1995