Honours Thesis, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Paper 243, May 1 (2003)
The Battle of the Boyne, on 1 July 1690, was the last great battle in Irish history. The defeat o f the Irish Catholic forces under King James II by the English Protestants under King William III changed the course ofIrish history forever. England now had Ireland in hand and would squeeze her unbearably in the years to come. The Catholic majority would lose their land, the main source of political power and wealth, and even the freedom to practice their religion in peace. The final cause o f all these changes was the implementation ofthe Penal Codes, which paved the way for the Protestant ascendancy. But what would have happened ifthe Irish had been victorious? Would England have allowed Ireland to rule autonomously? Or would the two countries have been yoked together again under the authority of James II?