Northern Star (newspaper of the Society of United Irishmen)

Northern Star (Newspaper Of The Society Of United Irishmen)

Northern Star (newspaper of the Society of United Irishmen)

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Description:
The Northern Star was the newspaper of the Society of United Irishmen, which was published from 1792 until its suppression by the British army in May 1797.

Origin

The publication of an Irish newspaper which reflected and disseminated liberal views was an early goal of Irish republicans in the late 18th century. By the founding of the Society of United Irishmen in October 1791, the project was well underway and the first edition of the Northern Star appeared in Belfast on 1 January 1792. Like the United Irishmen the first financial backers of the Northern Star were Presbyterian and one of the United Irish leadership, Samuel Neilson, was made editor.

Content



Political content dominated the Northern Star but its publication of local news as opposed to the focus on British and international affairs of other Irish newspapers of the time brought it wide popularity. Leading members of the United Irishmen were regular contributors and mixed direct political analyses with cutting political satire. William Orr was among those who contributed to its content, his letters would lead to his eventual arrest and execution under the Insurrection Act of 1797. The newspaper also enjoyed an excellent voluntary distribution network as it's penetration followed rapidly wherever the United Irishmen set up new branches. It was estimated that for each copy of the Northern Star that was sold there were at least five readers as the reading aloud of articles from the paper was a regular feature of...
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