Re-creation of National State and Renewal of the Life of the Nation, 1319-1367

9. Therefore, the war of polity against polity, of nation against nation, took the new shape of enactment. Though a small and diminishing part of the country remained beyond its control, yet the higher civilisation had conquered, partly by a convulsion that had shaken the whole national fabric, partly by absorption. A long period of slow upbuilding was now to ensue. While the Pale remained with its enforced pretence of a Headship to the State outside the State, that upbuilding could not perfect itself. That is to say, the pretence, while it maintained any foothold in the country, inhibited the natural law whereby the State would once again have centred itself and have rendered itself stable by the assertion of its own sufficient authority. Yet though that final perfection was not possible without a further convulsion, yet the fabric of the polity was re-created, and all the characteristic flowers and fruits of the Irish State were again in evidence. Poets once again took up their song; historians reconstructed their broken annals; and the noise of the craftsman and of industry began again to be heard throughout the land. Such things would naturally and peacefully have flowed over the Pale, had the nation been left to itself. They would have re-wrought the national unity and have reconstructed the State. They began, indeed, to do so. Therefore, the invader decided, seeing that he was unable to advance the conquest he intended, to frustrate such an end and to reaffirm the war of polity against polity by statutory declaration.