Towards a History of Compromise: Comparing Political Unions in the British-Irish Isles and Poland-Lithuania, 23 February 2022 at Queen's University Belfast
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About the Lecture:
Politics in modern democratic and consensual systems depends on compromise, and yet the ability to compromise is not always seen as a virtue. In an age in which political compromise seems ever more difficult to achieve, this lecture considers the history of compromise through a comparison of three early modern unions: between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland; and between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland. According to the textbooks, the formation of these unions followed similar paths, from loose personal unions to the creation of parliamentary, or real unions, yet they were very different in their conceptualisation and realisation. This lecture will compare and contrast these unions as exercises in political compromise, and ask whether the differing nature of those compromises helps to explain their different fates.