beyond the pail [sic]

David Bergdahl einstein at FROGNET.NET
Tue Mar 11 21:21:46 UTC 2003

RE: "beyond the pail" said jokingly for "beyond the Pale of
Settlement"--it's always interested me that there was a Pale in Russia
beyond which Jews could settle, and one in Ireland beyond the English domain
around Dublin (where there was a slum called "Irishtown.")

Merriam-Webster online gives "4 : an area or the limits within which one is
privileged or protected (as from censure) <conduct that was beyond the

"BEYOND THE PALE" refers to the provinces in Russia where Jews were forced
to live during the 18th and 19th centuries, called "The Pale of Settlement."

In 1169, barely a century after the Norman invasion of Celtic/Saxon Britain
gave rise to the entity of England, the expansionist feudal lords of England
invaded neighboring Ireland, thereby beginning a history of Irish national
resistance to foreign domination, now in its ninth century. For the first
450 years after the invasion, a Hibernicized Anglo-Irish aristocracy
administered the area of Dublin and its surrounding "Pale" (the ring of land
around Dublin within which the English were able to enforce their rule),
while traditional Irish chieftains received feudal titles from English
overlords, but maintained a semblance of native Irish society. Periodically
the Irish clans rose in revolt against English domination, the last and most
dramatic being the insurrection of the O'Neills of Ulster against Queen
Elizabeth I during the 1560s. The failed rebellion contributed a host of
aristocratic Irish emigres to France, and frightened the English
sufficiently to cause them to seek more secure methods of controlling their
colonial territory of Ireland.

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