This article traces Irish responses to the crisis of the Hispanic monarchy (1808–25) and the struggle for sovereignty in Spanish America, comparing reactions in Ireland to those of the Irish diasporic community in the United States. It argues that although the Irish were overwhelmingly sympathetic to the cause of the insurgents in Spanish America, their support took different forms and meanings. Whereas contemporaries in Ireland saw the benefits of Spanish American independence for the prosperity and security of the British Empire, Irish radical exiles in New York or Philadelphia viewed the struggle as an opportunity to emphasize the validity of revolutionary and republican principles across the New World. In stressing the relevance of the geopolitical context and of transnational interactions to the development of contradicting imperial and anticolonial views, the article moves beyond prevailing narratives of military involvement and highlights the richness of the Irish experience of the Age of Revolutions.

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