*note: this is not finished
. I was invited out while I was typing it and published it on the spot. I apologise, and I will finish it tomorrow once I wake up feeling awful. Slan anois.
The American Civil War and the rise of the Fenian Brotherhood
The Civil war between the Union and the Confederacy gave many Irish immigrants the opportunity to become familar with various arms and battle tactics. On each side of the Mason-Dixon line, there were brave Irish Brigades, though the New York "fighting" 69th with its 2nd (Irish) Brigade was by far the more famous. These brave men were led by 1848 Young Irelander, Thomas Francis Meagher.
Fenian leaders John O'Mahoney
and James Stephens
took a pragmatic stance on the Civil War. They understood the large number of Irish immigrants across the Atlantic and instructed Fenian supporters in America to encourage men to join the Northerners. They even began to encourage young nationalist-minded to join the British Army in order to learn arms and war tactics for later use against the oppressive Crown.
With Britain supporting the South's attempt at independence, the Fenian leaders took the usual stance of "Britain's enemy is Ireland's ally".
Following the Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg in 1863, the Fenians in Ireland decided it was time to open a political forum in the form of a rebel journal; the Irish People
. The major figures behind this revolutionary media were Thomas Clarke Luby and John O'Leary with regular contribution by Finton Lalor
and Charles Joseph Kickham
. Later, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa
would join the staff as the business manager and was in charge of the journal's circulation.
The Irish People
fought a fierce battle against less political and more constitutionalist periodicals that had the backing of priests and the middle class. Due to the great power the Church held over the common citizen of Ireland, the People was forced to build its support chain in the "underground".