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Related to Fenianism: Fenian movement


1. One of a legendary group of heroic Irish warriors of the second and third centuries ad.
2. A member of a secret revolutionary organization in the United States and Ireland in the mid-19th century, dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland.

[From alteration (influenced by féne, body of freemen under early Irish law) of Irish Gaelic fianna, bands of young warriors, from Old Irish fíanna, pl. of fían.]

Fe′ni·an adj.
Fe′ni·an·ism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the principles and practices of an Irish revolutionary organization founded in New York in 1858, especially its emphasis on the establishment of an independent Irish republic. — Fenian, n., adj.
See also: Politics
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Thus Fenianism, Sinn Fein, support for the Boers, and the writings of Arthur Griffith all helped to construct a view of Ireland as an honest broker and bridge-builder among the nations of the world.
Other important topics emerge from this new volume of letters: Disraeli's old preoccupation with conspiracy and his new one with Fenianism, his ongoing devotion to things Jewish (he responds positively to a researcher's work that would "correct" his father's denigration of the Talmud), and his increasingly close relationship with Queen Victoria.
After a discussion of IPP members' residual links to nineteenth-century Fenianism, McConnel traces the party's response to the first Sinn Fein challenge (arguing that party dissidents who in 1907-8 wanted the party to take up the Sinn Fein policy mostly sought to reinvigorate the party rather than create a new one), MPs' ambivalent relationship with the Gaelic League and the wider 'Irish Ireland' movement, and the ways in which the IPP's generally (though not unanimously) hostile view of the 1913 lockout represented the wider conservatism of Irish nationalist society, with those MPs who sympathised with the strikers (usually intellectuals or British-based labourites) confining their expressions of discontent to private correspondence for the sake of unity.
(7) The insurrectionary 'events in Manchester [and Clerkenwell prison] strengthened the impression that Fenianism was a powerful and sinister force at work in the very heart of English society', according to F.
(2.) William Murphy, "Narratives of Confinement: Fenians, Prisons and Writing, 1967-1916" in Fearghal McGarry and James McConnel (eds.), The Black Hand of Republicanism: Fenianism in Modern Ireland (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2009): 161-75.
He sees in this play the "emancipatory justification" (87) of a dignity defined by the ability to bear loss and suffer defeat, which Gregory offered as one means of taming the unruly and threatening aspects of Fenianism. His astute readings of Gregory's writing, a critical attention much merited and long overdue, segue into a third chapter attending to Revivalist dramas that deploy the Sovereignty myth.
(8.) See for example, Michael de Nie, "A Medley Mob of Irish-American Plotters and Irish Dupes: The British Press and Transatlantic Fenianism," Journal of British Studies, 40 (April 2001), 214; and Steve Garner, "Atlantic Crossing: Whiteness as a Transatlantic Experience," Atlantic Studies, 4 (April 2007), 129.
Beginning with contextual background on the Land War period, the book examines the effects of the agricultural depression of the late 1870s on Kerry farmers, the development of radical responses, Land League agitation in the region, the influence of Fenianism and the rise of agrarian violence, and the influence of rural activism during the Home Rule period.
Joyce elaborated on the Sinn Fein platform in "Fenianism: The Last Fenian," a journalistic piece he wrote in 1907 for II Piccolo della Sera:
Rowdyism in Parliament has done more for Ireland than respectability in Parliament has ever done for Scotland." (69) Though a long way from the tactics of Fenianism, or even the parliamentary obstructionists of the late 1870s, the spectre of dangerous and out-of-control Irishmen had re-emerged through comparison with the more restrained, rational, and respectful Scots.