Thursday, March 18, 1999 Published at 17:09 GMT
1695-1850: A time of revolution and the Great Famine
The consequences of famine
Penal Laws Between 1695-1728 a series of acts is passed by the Irish parliament against Catholics. These:
Emigration Protestant emigration from Ulster to America begins to gather pace from 1719, mainly due to poverty.
American Revolution The American colonies rebel against British rule in 1776. The American John Paul Jones raids Belfast Lough in 1778. With the British unable to respond, thousands join the mainly-Protestant Volunteers to defend Ireland against possible French invasion.
Volunteer influence Henry Grattan's Patriot party wins nominal independence for the Irish parliament from Westminster in 1782, following resolutions passed by a convention of Volunteer companies.
Catholic Relief From 1782-93, several Catholic Relief Acts restore some rights - inheritance, to practise law, to vote.
Orange Order formed A skirmish between Protestant Volunteers and Catholic groups at Loughgall in County Armagh in 1795 leads to the formation by the victors of the Orange Order.
French invasion A French invasion fleet, accompanied by Wolfe Tone, tries to land in Bantry Bay in 1796, but with little sign of any military opposition, is beaten back by storms.
Failed revolt Rebellion breaks out in Wexford and after initial success is defeated at the Battle of Vinegar Hill on June 21, 1798. Two French expeditions land, with Tone in the second. Both fail and Tone is captured and commits suicide.
Prime Minister William Pitt, who had promised Catholic emancipation after Union, resigns when it is vetoed by George III.
Let no man write my epitaph... A disastrous revolt by Robert Emmet is crushed with ease in Dublin in 1803. Before being executed, he is immortalised among Irish nationalists by his speech from the dock:
"Let no man write my epitaph ... When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then let my epitaph be written."
Banned Unlawful Societies Act of 1825 bans groups such as the Catholic Association and also the Orange Order.
Elected Daniel O'Connell elected MP for County Clare in 1828 despite not being allowed to take his seat as a Catholic.
Emancipation Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 allows Catholics to become MPs and the franchise is reformed.
The Clontarf meeting is banned and O'Connell backs down.
Westminster organises limited corn imports and public works schemes, but fails to halt mass starvation and disease, with people dying where they fell.
Some 1.5m people emigrate but about 1m are believed to have died out of a population of 8m. The memory of that time is seared deep into the nation's consciousness.