RIBBONISM, the name given to an Irish secret-society movement, which began at the end of the 18th century in opposition to the Orangemen, and which was represented by various associations under different names, organized in lodges, and recruited all over Ireland from the lowest classes of the people. The actual name of Ribbonism (from a green badge worn by its members) became attached to the movement later, about 1826; and, after it had grown to its height about 1855, it declined in force, and was practically at an end in its old form when in 1871 the Westmeath Act declared Ribbonism illegal. See also under IRELAND: History.
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