Second Year: the Irish 1798 Rebellion

The Battle of Vinegar Hill, Co. Wexford
If you were to think of an Irish rebellion, the first things that might come to mind would probably be the 1916 Rising and Michael Collins. You'll learn about that at the start of Third Year. Before 1916, there were other, smaller uprisings, which were all unsuccessful. One of the most famous of these happened shortly after the American and French revolutions, and is known as the 1798 Rebellion, after the year in which it took place.

Wolfe Tone is the man who led this rebellion. He tried to get help from the French, but stormy weather sunk that plan.

Continue to the Industrial Revolution

Go back to the main Revolutions page, or Second Year 

Ordinary Level students should focus on the Special Topic, which is in *asterisks*.
  • The reasons for the 1798 rebellion (poverty, lack of representation, religious arguments)
  • *Wolfe Tone (People in History)* and the United Irishmen.
  • French help for Tone.
  • The arrest of the leaders.
  • The 1798 Rebellions: Wexford, Ulster, Connacht.
  • The failure of the rebellions.
  • The results of the rebellions.

Click here for advice and tips on answering exam questions.


1. During the 1798 uprising in Ireland, who were the Croppies? (2011 HL)

2. Choose one of the revolutions from the period, 1771-1815, and give two causes of that
    revolution. (2009 HL)

3. What change came about as a result of the Act of Union, 1801? (2009 HL)

3. Explain the following term: United Irishmen (2008 OL)


Q.5C, 2008 HL

Write an account of one of the following topics:    (12)

(i)     Causes of the American War of Independence.
(ii)    The Reign of Terror in France, September 1793 to July 1794.
(iii)   Reasons for the failure of the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland.


The same People in History questions covers all three of the countries you study in this section. There are two possible People in History questions for the Age of Revolutions. Don't worry about the years attached to the questions. They might vary, but they always mean the Age of Revolutions.

Because this is the Irish Rebellion page, the answers below talk about Ireland and Wolfe Tone. For America or France, go to their pages.

A named leader involved in a revolution (America or France or Ireland) during the period 1771-1815
(2015 OL, 2012 HL, 2010 HL, 2010 OL, 2008 OL)

A supporter of a named revolutionary leader during the period 1770-1803 /
A person fighting in a revolution (in France, Ireland or America) during the Age of Revolutions 
(2006 HL, 2012 OL)

Wolfe Tone

The National 1798 Centre
This centre, in Co. Wexford, has exhbitions and displays about the United Irishmen and the battles fought. Visit it if you're in Wexford!

UCC: The 1798 Rebellion
It's a long read, but the story of the rebellion is told here in great detail.

The National Archives: the 1798 Rebellion
The National Archives has some primary source documents saved as PDFs for you to view on your computer. See the handwritten United Irishmen oath here, amongst many other things.