The Irish Revolts - Late 1654 to Early 1656
The loss to Carolina, Sweden, and Spain was a severe setback to the Protectorate, its newly formed relations with the countries of Europe had already begun to strain, though the two biggest hits to the Protectorate was to its pocket book and their pride. The ships lost during the war would have to be rebuilt and that would take time and money, something the Protectorate was starting to strain on. Though many in Parliament agreed they could not simply wait for their coffers to grow to fill once more, not while the Carolinians were hard at work expanding into the new world. Lord Protector Thomas Fairfax was heavily against interfering with the economy of the Protectorate, as their favor with the people was very tense, the effects of the war had hurt their way of living. It was not until a certain man had gained enough power in Parliament to enact his plan to hopefully place the Protectorate’s economy back on track as well as its relations with other European countries. The plan was was to raise taxes in England and in Wales, but his plan was to drastically tax the people of Ireland more than anyone else. He even had planned on taxing people higher for their practice of Catholicism within the Protectorate. The man who came up with this plan was none other than Oliver Cromwell.
Cromwell’s plan was working, the economy back on track, many in Parliament even saw past Cromwell’s known hatred of the Irish and Catholics just to get the economy and nation back on track and not suffer the revolts of their citizens, though the people in England and Wales were blind to the tensions rising and the hatred brewing in Ireland. The Irish citizens were angry to put it nicely, they discovered their taxes were considerably higher than the English and Wales tax rates combined. They also discovered that they were taxed for practicing their beliefs. It was only a matter of time until the Irish people began forming underground militias to prepare for their eventually revolt against the English who had been wronging them. It eventually occurred after a group of English soldiers sent to collect taxes in a small Irish town had forced their way into a catholic church and forced the citizens to hand over their dues. When they came up short, they took valuables from the citizens as reparations, taking money from the church, and even burning down the church itself. After a group of Irish citizens attempted to stop them, only to have their lives cut down, many watched their church burn. That was enough to ignite a full revolt, as thousands of Irish militiamen took to arms and began to fight back against the stationed English soldiers in Ireland. News eventually reached England and Parliament of the Irish revolts, but by the time reinforcements arrived on the islands, they were vastly outnumbered and had a severe disadvantage against them. For nearly a year the English would attempt to push into and regain Ireland, but all offensives were deemed failures, as the Irish were fighting for their lives and not for money and pride as the Protectorate were. The Irish eventually won the revolt, with them declaring independence from their Protectorate rulers, though the English would never recognize it, to spite them and remind them that they were only years away from another war between the two. The Irish had won their freedom for now and England’s pride and coffers were still hurt. Cromwell was shamed yet again for his attempts to advance the Protectorate only to have hurt it even more. The Protectorate was in a very precarious situation at this point, with only a few bad decisions would cost them their power and place in the world. Meanwhile the Carolinians were sitting high and proud with a potential close ally next to their enemies.
The "Three Crowns" Flag, the first flag used for the Kingdom of Ireland.
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