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Uniting the Kingdoms? 1066-1603




In the early Middle Ages Ireland consisted of a number of independent but competing kingdoms. The Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169 fundamentally altered this. Within the new lordship of Ireland, English forms of government were introduced.

From the fourteenth century the lordship was beset by political and military problems as English rule came under pressure from resurgent Irish leaders. In response, the Tudors invested increasing quantities of money and men in Ireland and established new English settlements. Yet these policies provoked further resistance, culminating in the Nine Years' War (1594-1603) led by Hugh O' Neill, Earl of Tyrone.

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