In 2015, Trinity College Dublin launched a new, free, online history course inviting the public to explore the forces that shaped modern Ireland.

The course “Ireland in Rebellion, 1782-1916,” focused on the events and individuals which led to the creation of the independent Irish state, beginning with the winning of legislative independence and exploring the competing forces of constitutional nationalism and radicalism.

The whole course of lectures, focusing on The Challenge of the 1916 Rising: Irish History from the American War of Independence to the First World War, is now available online and can be viewed, below.

Professor of History Patrick Geoghegan at the School of Histories and Humanities, the course’s main lecturer said on its release: “Next year Ireland will commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the failed rebellion, which nonetheless inspired the national movement for Irish independence. The 1916 Rising is seen as one of the critical moments in Irish history, and there are many debates about how it should be commemorated (or celebrated) and whether the Irish state which was created afterwards has lived up to the ideals of the founding fathers of 1916.

“This course explores those debates, but also situates them within the wider context of the development of Irish republicanism, as well as the constitutional nationalist tradition which was often in conflict with the forces of radicalism and violence.”

He continued “This period witnessed the birth of the modern Ireland as both a parliamentary tradition and a revolutionary tradition, were developed, intersected, and ultimately clashed. It explores the difficult and often violent relationship between Ireland and Britain, in a period when ideas of nationalism and republicanism were being debated around the world. It also explores the tension between the supporters of the constitutional nationalist tradition in Ireland, and those who argue Irish independence would never have been achieved without the use of violence.”

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The course deals with the forces which led to the winning of Irish independence, covering not just the key events of the ‘decade of commemorations’ but also the individuals and events which shaped that decade, including Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet and the Fenians on the revolutionary side and Henry Grattan, Daniel O’Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell on the constitutional nationalist side. It also covers the events immediately after the Rising, including the War of Independence and Civil War.

The 14-week course, taught by historians and other experts, is aimed at the general public as well as second level teachers and students.

Each week four mini-lectures and an interview with a leading expert will be released online via Trinity’s YouTube channel and ITunes U. Weekly content will be 75 minutes long and will be made available every Friday.

The course schedule is as follows:

- The Challenge of the 1916 Rising: Irish History from the American War of Independence to the First World War

- The Age of Revolution, 1775-1796: Ireland and the Atlantic World

- Ireland in Flames: the 1798 Rebellion

- The Irish Act of Union, 1800

- Robert Emmet and the Rebellion of 1803

- Daniel O’Connell and the Winning of Catholic Emancipation, 1801-1829

- The Struggle for Repeal, 1830-1847

- The Famine, Young Ireland, and the Fenians

- The Rise and Fall of the ‘Uncrowned King of Ireland’

- Unionism versus Nationalism: Ireland in Crisis, 1900-1912

- From Lockout to War, 1912-1916

- The 1916 Rising

- The Winning of Irish Independence: 1917-1923

- Commemorating Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities

See more of this TCD online course at their YouTube channel or download it free on iTunes.