Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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May 24, 1743
Birth of Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793), revolutionary and radical democrat. A physician and scientist, Marat throws himself into full-time political activity upon the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. He publishes his own paper, L’Ami du peuple (“The Friend of the People”) which advocates a consistently radical position. He is assassinated in 1793 by a royalist sympathizer.
Related Topics: French Revolution
May 24, 1798
Beginning of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, an organized Irish attempt to drive out the British. The rebellion is planned and organized by the United Irishmen, a secular republican revolutionary group influenced by the ideas of the American and French revolutions. It has widespread support, but is opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, which actively sides with the British, who it regards as a lesser evil than secular republicanism. Local uprisings occur in a number of counties. The rebels win some victories, but gradually the British gain the upper hand. Wherever the British win, they engage in systematic atrocities, including torture of prisoners, burning prisoners alive, massacres and widespread incidents of rape.
On August 22, after the main uprisings have already been defeated, France sends 1,000 troops to assist a rebel force of 5,000. They have some initial success, but are ultimately defeated by the British. The captured French soldiers are sent back to France; the Irish rebels are massacred.
Some rebel guerrilla forces continue to harass the British for a number of years afterwards, until 1804.
Related Topics: Colonies/BritishIrish HistoryRebellions
May 24, 1917
An anti-conscription parade is held in Montreal, protesting the imposition of conscription to supply men to serve in the Great War.

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: