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The following Treaty of Mellifont, made with Hugh O'Neill, England's most hard-core opponent, is reasonably representative. Under the treaty, after the Irish lost a war, were the following key terms:

1) O'Neill would be pardoned for his past rebellious acts.
2) O'Neill would get to keep most, but not all, of his lands.
3) English law would supplant Irish "brehon" law (a system somewhat similar to English case law).
4) O'Neill could no longer support the Catholic Church.
5) O"Neill could no longer support Irish bards (minstrels, storytellers of Irish lore).
6) English would be the official language. O'Neill would have to give up his Irish title in return for an English one, the Earl of Tyrone.

These terms were considered "generous" at the time, according to Wikipedia. Would they been considered so in later times by professional historians including today? Or would they be considered a form of cultural imperialism at some point?

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    Might be just me, but the terms seem rather generous compared to those imposed by China on Tibet. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 23 '17 at 6:20
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    @DenisdeBernardy: 'it's all relative." I' m an opponent of Chinese imperialism as well. Someday, perhaps they'll make the Tibetan version of "The Fighting Prince of Donegal." – Tom Au Jul 23 '17 at 7:09
  • Given the battle had already been fought and won, today the victors would presumably insist on "regime change". – sempaiscuba Jul 23 '17 at 9:38
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    Isn't this more about modern perceptions rather than history? – Felix Goldberg Jul 23 '17 at 11:44
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    The terms seem generous towards Hugh O'Neill. Not so much towards Irish mintrels, the Catholic Church, the Gaelic language... or the Irish population at large. – Luís Henrique Jul 25 '17 at 11:18
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The best answer was given in a comment, "The terms seem generous towards Hugh O'Neill. Not so much towards Irish mintrels, the Catholic Church, the Gaelic language... or the Irish population at large," by Luís Henrique. If he wants to expand on his answer, I will "stand down" this one in his favor; for now, consider this a "placeholder" answer.

The English wanted to be harsh towards the Irish population by depriving them of minstrels, the Catholic Church and the Gaelic language. For all that, they treated O'Neill as a two-edged sword. That is, while he had been a rebel in the past, they acted as if he could be "turned" by them to be used to control lesser Irishmen. That's why they offered him terms that could be construed as "generous" at the time. Later history shows that was not really the case.

  • You're not answering the question, which is a good one. Relative to other conqurer-subjectv relations, did other European countries consider this one particularly harsh? I'd person be more interested in pre-reformation answers, as after that it would inevitably be coloured by pro and anti Catholic propaganda. – Ne Mo Jan 28 '18 at 18:47

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