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Irish nationalism is a
nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity (publisher), Polity, ...
political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo  and are often associated with a certain ideology. So ...
which, in its broadest sense, asserts that the people of Ireland should govern Ireland as a
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
. Since the mid-19th century, Irish Nationalism has largely taken the form of
civic nationalism Civic nationalism, also known as liberal nationalism, is a form of nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in an inclusive form of nationalism that adheres to traditional liberal values of freedom Freedom, generally, ...
based on the principles of
national self-determination The right of a people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...
and
popular sovereignty Popular sovereignty is the principle that the authority of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The ...
.Sa'adah 2003, 17–20.Smith 1999, 30. Irish nationalists during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries such as the
United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen, also simply known as the United Irishmen, were a sworn society in the Kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( Classical Irish: '; Irish language#An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, Modern Irish: ' ()) was a client ...

United Irishmen
in the 1790s,
Young Ireland Young Ireland ( ga, Éire Óg, ) was a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...
ers in the 1840s,
Fenian Brotherhood The Fenian Brotherhood () was an Irish republican organisation founded in the United States in 1858 by John O'Mahony John Francis O'Mahony (1815 – 7 February 1877) was a Gaelic scholar and the founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in ...
during the 1880s,
Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil (, ; meaning 'Soldiers of Destiny' or 'Warriors of Fál'), officially Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party ( ga, audio=ga-Fianna Fáil.ogg, Fianna Fáil – An Páirtí Poblachtánach), is a conservative Conserva ...
in the 1920s, and
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
styled themselves in various ways after French left-wing and
republicanism Republicanism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use ...
. Irish nationalism celebrates the
culture of Ireland The culture of Ireland includes Irish language, language, Irish literature, literature, Music of Ireland, music, Irish art, art, Irish mythology, folklore, Irish cuisine, cuisine, and Sport in Ireland, sport associated with Ireland and the Irish ...
, especially the
Irish language Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards and guidons, kinds of military signs * Heraldic flag, Standard (emblem), a type of a large symbol or emblem used for identification Norms, conventions or requ ...
, literature, music, and sports. It grew more potent during the period in which all of Ireland was part of the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, which led to most of the island gaining independence from the UK in 1921. Irish nationalists believe that foreign rule has been detrimental to Irish interests. At the time of the
partition of Ireland The partition of Ireland ( ga, críochdheighilt na hÉireann) was the process by which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state that existed be ...
most of the island was
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
and largely indigenous whilst a sizeable portion of the country, particularly in the north, was
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
and chiefly descended from people from
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
who colonised the land as
settlers A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their or ...
during the reign of
King James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...

King James I
. Partition was along these ethno-religious lines, with most of Ireland gaining independence, while six northern counties remained part of the United Kingdom. Irish nationalists support
Irish reunification United Ireland, also referred to as Irish reunification, is the proposition that all of Ireland should be a single sovereign state. At present, the island is divided politically; the sovereign Republic of Ireland has jurisdiction over the maj ...
.


History


Early development

Generally, Irish nationalism is regarded as having emerged following the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
revival of the concept of the ''patria'' and the religious struggle between the ideology of the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
and the Catholic
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic Church, Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation, also known as the Protestant Revol ...
. At this early stage in the 16th century, Irish nationalism represented an ideal of the native
Gaelic Irish Gaelic Ireland ( ga, Éire Ghaelach) was the Gaels, Gaelic political and social order, and associated culture, that existed in Ireland from the Prehistory of Ireland, prehistoric era until the early 17th century. Before the Norman invasion of Ire ...
and the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
banding together in common cause, under the banner of Catholicism and Irish civic identity ("faith and fatherland/motherland"), hoping to protect their land and interests from the New English Protestant forces sponsored by
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
. This vision sought to overcome the old ethnic divide between ''Gaeil'' (the native Irish) and ''Gaill'' (the Normans) which had been a feature of Irish life since the 12th century, following the
Norman invasion of Ireland The Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland took place during the late 12th century, when Anglo-Normans gradually conquered and acquired large swathes of land from the Irish, which the Kingdom of England then claimed sovereignty over. At the time, Gael ...
. Protestantism in England introduced a religious element to the 16th-century
Tudor conquest of Ireland The Tudor conquest (or reconquest) of Ireland took place under the Tudor dynasty, which held the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged from vario ...
, as many of the native Gaels and
Hiberno-Normans From the 12th century onwards, a group of Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from Norsemen, Norse Vikings ...
remained Catholic. The
Plantations of Ireland A more detailed map of the areas subjected to plantations Plantations in 16th- and 17th-century Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separ ...
dispossessed many native Catholic landowners in favour of Protestant settlers from England and Scotland. In addition, the
Plantation of Ulster The Plantation of Ulster ( gle, Plandáil Uladh; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ul ...

Plantation of Ulster
, which began in 1609, "planted" a sizeable population of English and Scottish Protestant settlers into the north of Ireland. Irish aristocrats waged many campaigns against the English presence. A prime example is the rebellion of Hugh O'Neill which became known as the
Nine Years War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
of 1594–1603, which aimed to expel the English and make Ireland a Spanish
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
. A more significant movement came in the 1640s, after the
Irish Rebellion of 1641 The Irish Rebellion of 1641 ( ga, Éirí Amach 1641) was an uprising by Irish Catholics in the kingdom of Ireland, who wanted an end to anti-Catholic discrimination, greater Irish self-governance, and to partially or fully reverse the plantation ...
, when a coalition of Gaelic Irish and
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
Catholics set up a ''de facto'' independent Irish state to fight in the
Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, sometimes known as the British Civil Wars, were an intertwined series of conflicts that took place between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country tha ...
(''see Confederate Irelan'' d). The Confederate Catholics of Ireland, also known as the Confederation of Kilkenny, emphasised the idea of Ireland as a Kingdom independent from England, albeit under the same monarch. They demanded autonomy for the Irish Parliament, full rights for Catholics and an end to the confiscation of Catholic-owned land. However, the
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland or Cromwellian war in Ireland (1649–1653) was the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English g ...
(1649–53) destroyed the Confederate cause and resulted in the permanent dispossession of the old Catholic landowning class. A similar Irish Catholic monarchist movement emerged in the 1680s and 1690s, when Irish Catholic
Jacobites Jacobite may refer to: Religion * Jacobites, Jacob Baradaeus (died 578). Churches in the Jacobite tradition and sometimes called Jacobite include: ** Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, autonomous branch of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Kerala, Ind ...
supported
James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...

James II
after his deposition in England in the
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
of 1688–1689. The Jacobites demanded that Irish Catholics have a majority in an autonomous Irish Parliament, the restoration of confiscated Catholic land, and an Irish-born
Lord Deputy of Ireland The Lord Deputy was the representative of the monarch and head of the Irish executive (government), executive under English rule, during the Lordship of Ireland and then the Kingdom of Ireland. He deputised prior to 1523 for the Viceroy of Ireland. ...
. Similarly to the Confederates of the 1640s, the Jacobites were conscious of representing the "Irish nation", but were not separatists and largely represented the interests of the landed class as opposed to all the Irish people. Like the Confederates, they also suffered defeat, in the
Williamite War in Ireland The Williamite War in Ireland (1688–1691; ga, Cogadh an Dá Rí, "war of the two kings"), was a conflict between Jacobite supporters of deposed monarch James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 Sept ...
(1689–1691). Thereafter, the largely English
Protestant Ascendancy The Protestant Ascendancy, known simply as the Ascendancy, was the political, economic, and social domination of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. ...
dominated Irish government and landholding. The
Penal Laws In the history of Ireland The first evidence of human presence in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to ...
discriminated against non-
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...

Anglican
s. (''See also History of Ireland 1536–1691''.) This coupling of religious and ethnic identity – principally Roman Catholic and
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...

Gaelic
– as well as a consciousness of dispossession and defeat at the hands of British and Protestant forces, became enduring features of Irish nationalism. However, the Irish Catholic movements of the 16th century were invariably led by a small landed and clerical elite. Professor Kevin Whelan has traced the emergence of the modern Catholic-nationalist identity that formed in 1760–1830. Irish historian Marc Caball, on the other hand, claims that "early modern Irish nationalism" began to be established after the
Flight of the Earls The Flight of the Earls ( ir, Teitheamh na nIarlaí) took place in September 1607, when Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell Tyrconnell (), also spelled Tirconnell, was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland ...

Flight of the Earls
(1607), based on the concepts of "the indivisibility of Gaelic cultural integrity, territorial sovereignty, and the interlinking of Gaelic identity with profession of the Roman Catholic faith".


Early nationalism


Pre-Union

The exclusively Protestant
Parliament of Ireland The Parliament of Ireland ( ga, Parlaimint na hÉireann) was the of the , and later the , from 1297 until 1800. It was modelled on the and from 1537 comprised two chambers: the and the . The Lords were members of the (’’) and bisho ...
of the eighteenth century repeatedly called for more autonomy from the British Parliament – particularly the repeal of Poynings' Law, which allowed the latter to legislate for Ireland. They were supported by popular sentiment that came from the various publications of
William Molyneux William Molyneux Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; 17 April 1656 – 11 October 1698) was an Anglo-Irish writer on science, politics and natural philosopher, natural philosophy. He is noted as a close friend of fellow philosopher John Locke, ...
about Irish constitutional independence; this was later reinforced by
Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of ...
's incorporation of these ideas into ''
Drapier's Letters ''Drapier's Letters'' is the collective name for a series of seven pamphlet A pamphlet is an unbound book (that is, without a Hardcover, hard cover or Bookbinding, binding). Pamphlets may consist of a single sheet of paper that is printed on ...
''. Parliamentarians who wanted more self-government formed the
Irish Patriot Party The Irish Patriot Party was the name of a number of different political groupings in Ireland throughout the 18th century. They were primarily supportive of British Whig Party, Whig concepts of personal liberty combined with an Irish identity that r ...
, led by
Henry Grattan Henry Grattan (3 July 1746 – 4 June 1820) was an Irish politician and lawyer who campaigned for legislative freedom for the Irish Parliament in the late 18th century from Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom, a sovereign state ...

Henry Grattan
, who achieved substantial legislative independence in 1782–83. Grattan and radical elements of the 'Irish Whig' party campaigned in the 1790s for Catholic political equality and reform of electoral rights. He wanted useful links with Britain to remain, best understood by his comment: 'The channel the_Irish_sea.html" ;"title="Irish_Sea.html" ;"title="nowiki/>Irish Sea">the Irish sea">Irish_Sea.html" ;"title="nowiki/>Irish Sea">the Irish seaforbids union; the ocean forbids separation'. Grattan's movement was notable for being both inclusive and nationalist as many of its members were descended from the Anglo/Irish minority. Many other nationalists such as Samuel Neilson, Theobald Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet were also descended from plantation families which had arrived in Ireland since 1600. From Grattan in the 1770s to Charles Stewart Parnell, Parnell up to 1890, nearly all the leaders of Irish separatism were
Protestant nationalist Protestant Irish nationalists are adherents of Protestantism in Ireland who also support Irish nationalism. Protestants have played a large role in the development of Irish nationalism since the eighteenth century, despite most Irish national ...
s. Modern Irish nationalism with democratic aspirations began in the 1790s with the founding of the
Society of the United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen, also simply known as the United Irishmen, were a sworn society in the Kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( Classical Irish: '; Irish language#An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, Modern Irish: ' ()) was a client ...
. It sought to end discrimination against Catholics and Presbyterians and to found an independent Irish republic. Most of the United Irish leaders were Catholic and Presbyterian and inspired by the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
, wanted a society without
sectarian Sectarianism is a political or cultural conflict between two groups often related to the form of government they live under. Prejudice Prejudice can be an affect (psychology), affective feeling towards a person based on their perceived grou ...
divisions, the continuation of which they attributed to the British domination over the country. They were sponsored by the
French Republic France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of severa ...
, which was then the enemy of the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
. The United Irishmen led the
Irish Rebellion of 1798 The Irish Rebellion of 1798 ( ga, Éirí Amach 1798; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ' ...
, which was repressed with great bloodshed. As a result, the Irish Parliament voted to abolish itself in the Act of Union of 1800–01 and thereafter Irish MPs sat in London.


Post-Union

Two forms of Irish nationalism arose from these events. One was a radical movement, known as
Irish republicanism Irish republicanism ( ga, poblachtánachas Éireannach) is the political movement for the unity Unity may refer to: Buildings * Unity Building The Unity Building, in Oregon, Illinois, is a historic building in that city's Oregon Commercial H ...
. It believed the use of force was necessary to found a secular, egalitarian Irish republic, advocated by groups such as the
Young Ireland Young Ireland ( ga, Éire Óg, ) was a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...
ers, some of whom launched a rebellion in 1848. The other nationalist tradition was more moderate, urging non-violent means to seek concessions from the British government. While both nationalist traditions were predominantly Catholic in their support base, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church were opposed to republican separatism on the grounds of its violent methods and secular ideology, while they usually supported non-violent reformist nationalism.
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell ( ga, Dónall Ó Conaill; 6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), hailed in his time as The Liberator, was the acknowledged political leader of Ireland's Roman Catholic majority in the first half of the 19th century. His mobilisa ...

Daniel O'Connell
was the leader of the moderate tendency. O'Connell, head of the
Catholic Association The Catholic Association was an Irish Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epis ...
and
Repeal Association The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell in 1830 to campaign for a repeal of the Acts of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland. The Association's aim was to revert Ireland to the ...
in the 1820s, 1830s and 1940s, campaigned for
Catholic Emancipation #REDIRECT Catholic emancipation Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in the kingdoms of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of ...
– full political rights for Catholics – and then Repeal of the Union, or Irish self-government under the Crown. Catholic Emancipation was achieved, but self-government was not. O'Connell's movement was more explicitly Catholic than its eighteenth-century predecessors. It enjoyed the support of the Catholic clergy, who had denounced the
United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen, also simply known as the United Irishmen, were a sworn society in the Kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( Classical Irish: '; Irish language#An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, Modern Irish: ' ()) was a client ...
and reinforced the association between Irish identity and Catholicism. The Repeal Association used traditional Irish imagery, such as the
harp The harp is a stringed musical instrument String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make Music, musical sounds. In principle, any object that p ...

harp
, and located its mass meetings in sites such as
Tara Tara may refer to: Arts and entertainment Film and television * ''Tara'' (1992 film), an Indian film directed by Bijaya Jena * ''Tara'' (2001 film), an American film, also known as ''Hood Rat'', directed by Leslie Small * ''Tara'' (2010 film), a ...
and
ClontarfClontarf may refer to: Placenames Australia *Clontarf, New South Wales *Clontarf, Queensland, a suburb of the Moreton Bay Region *Clontarf, Queensland (Toowoomba Region), a locality in the Toowoomba Region Ireland * Clontarf, Dublin United ...
which had a special resonance in Irish history.


Repeal Association and Young Ireland

The Great Famine of 1845–49 caused great bitterness among Irish people against the British government, which was perceived as having failed to avert the deaths of up to a million people. British support for the 1860
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
s on
Italian unification The unification of Italy ( it, Unità d'Italia ), also known as the ''Risorgimento'' (, ; meaning "Resurgence"), was the 19th-century political and social movement that resulted in the Merger (politics), consolidation of List of historic stat ...
prompted
Alexander Martin Sullivan Alexander Martin Sullivan (1829 – 17 October 1884) was an Irish Nationalist politician, lawyer and journalist from Bantry, County Cork County Cork ( ga, Contae Chorcaí) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country us ...
to launch a " National Petition" for a referendum on repeal of the union; in 1861 Daniel O'Donoghue submitted the 423,026 signatures to no effect. The
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the United States ...
(IRB) and
Fenian Brotherhood The Fenian Brotherhood () was an Irish republican organisation founded in the United States in 1858 by John O'Mahony John Francis O'Mahony (1815 – 7 February 1877) was a Gaelic scholar and the founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in ...
were set up in Ireland and the United States, respectively, in 1858 by militant republicans, including
Young Ireland Young Ireland ( ga, Éire Óg, ) was a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...
ers. The latter dissolved into factions after organising unsuccessful raids on
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
by Irish veterans of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, and the IRB launched
Clan na Gael Clan na Gael (modern Irish orthography Irish orthography has evolved over many centuries, since Old Irish Old Irish (''Goídelc''; ga, Sean-Ghaeilge; gd, Seann Ghàidhlig; gv, Shenn Yernish or ; Ogham, Old Irish: ᚌᚑᚔᚇᚓᚂᚉ ...
as a replacement. In Ireland itself, the IRB tried an armed revolt in 1867 but, as it was heavily infiltrated by police informers, the rising was a failure. In the late 19th century, Irish nationalism became the dominant ideology in Ireland, having a major
Parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
party in the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kin ...
at
Westminster Westminster is a district in Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city sta ...

Westminster
that launched a concerted campaign for self-government.


Land League

Mass nationalist mobilisation began when
Isaac Butt Isaac Butt (6 September 1813 – 5 May 1879) was an Irish barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include ...
's
Home Rule League The Home Rule League (1873–1882), sometimes called the Home Rule Party, was an Irish political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a pol ...
(which had been founded in 1873 but had little following) adopted social issues in the late 1870s – especially the question of land redistribution.
Michael Davitt Michael Davitt (25 March 184630 May 1906) was an Irish republican activist for a variety of causes, especially Home Rule and land reform Land reform (also agrarian reform, though that can have a broader meaning) involves the changing of ...
(an IRB member) founded the
Irish Land League The Irish National Land League (Irish language, Irish: ''Conradh na Talún'') was an Irish political organisation of the late 19th century which sought to help poor tenant farmers. Its primary aim was to abolish landlordism in Ireland and enable ...
in 1879 during an agricultural depression to agitate for tenant's rights. Some would argue the land question had a nationalist resonance in Ireland as many Irish Catholics believed that land had been unjustly taken from their ancestors by Protestant English colonists in the 17th-century
Plantations of Ireland A more detailed map of the areas subjected to plantations Plantations in 16th- and 17th-century Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separ ...
. Indeed, the Irish landed class was still largely an
Anglo-Irish Anglo-Irish () is a term which was more commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries to identify an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people ...
Protestant group in the 19th century. Such perceptions were underlined in the Land league's language and literature. However, others would argue that the Land League had its direct roots in tenant associations formed in the period of agricultural prosperity during the government of
Lord Palmerston Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, (20 October 1784 – 18 October 1865) was a British statesman, who was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century. Palmerston dominated British foreign policy during the period ...
in the 1850s and 1860s, who were seeking to strengthen the economic gains they had already made. Following the depression of 1879 and the subsequent fall in prices (and hence profits), these farmers were threatened with rising rents and eviction for failure to pay rents. In addition, small farmers, especially in the west faced the prospect of another famine in the harsh winter of 1879. At first, the Land League campaigned for the "
Three Fs Free sale, fixity of tenure, and fair rent, also known as the Three Fs, were a set of demands first issued by the Tenant Right League in their campaign for land reform Land reform (also agrarian reform, though that can have a broader meaning) ...
" – fair rent, free sale and fixity of tenure. Then, as prices for agricultural products fell further and the weather worsened in the mid-1880s, tenants organised themselves by withholding rent during the 1886–1891
Plan of Campaign#REDIRECT Plan of Campaign The Plan of Campaign was a stratagem adopted in Ireland between 1886 and 1891, co-ordinated by Irish politicians for the benefit of tenant farmers, against mainly absentee and rack-rent landlords. It was launched to c ...
movement. Militant nationalists such as the Fenians saw that they could use the groundswell of support for land reform to recruit nationalist support, this is the reason why the New Departure – a decision by the IRB to adopt social issues – occurred in 1879. Republicans from Clan na Gael (who were loath to recognise the British parliament) saw this as an opportunity to recruit the masses to agitate for Irish self-government. This agitation, which became known as the "
Land War The Land War ( ga, Cogadh na Talún) was a period of agrarian agitation in rural Ireland that began in 1879. It may refer specifically to the first and most intense period of agitation between 1879 and 1882, or include later outbreaks of agitatio ...
", became very violent when Land Leaguers resisted evictions of tenant farmers by force and the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
and
Royal Irish Constabulary The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, ga, Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann; simply called the Irish Constabulary 1836–67) was the police force in Ireland from 1822 until 1922, when the country was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain an ...
was used against them. This upheaval eventually resulted in the British government subsidising the sale of landlords' estates to their tenants in the
Irish Land Act The Land Acts (officially Land Law (Ireland) Acts) were a series of measures to deal with the question of tenancy contracts and peasant proprietorship of land in Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Five such acts were introduced by t ...
s authored by
William O'Brien William O'Brien (2 October 1852 – 25 February 1928) was an Irish Irish nationalism, nationalist, journalist, agrarian agitator, social revolutionary, politician, party leader, newspaper publisher, author and Member of Parliament (MP) in the H ...

William O'Brien
. It also provided a mass base for constitutional Irish nationalists who had founded the
Home Rule League The Home Rule League (1873–1882), sometimes called the Home Rule Party, was an Irish political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a pol ...
in 1873.
Charles Stewart Parnell Charles Stewart Parnell (27 June 1846 – 6 October 1891) was an Irish nationalist politician who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In man ...

Charles Stewart Parnell
(somewhat paradoxically, a Protestant landowner) took over the Land League and used its popularity to launch the
Irish National League Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(le ...
in 1882 as a support basis for the newly formed
Irish Parliamentary Party The Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP; commonly called the Irish Party or the Home Rule Party) was formed in 1874 by Isaac Butt Isaac Butt (6 September 1813 – 5 May 1879) was an Irish barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common ...
, to campaign for
Home Rule Home rule is government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens. It is thus the power of a part (administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative ...
.


Cultural nationalism

An important feature of Irish nationalism from the late 19th century onwards was a commitment to
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...

Gaelic
Irish culture. A broad intellectual movement, the
Celtic Revival The Celtic Revival (also referred to as the Celtic Twilight) was a variety of movements and trends in the 19th and 20th centuries that saw a renewed interest in aspects of Celtic culture. Artists and writers drew on the traditions of Gaelic lit ...
, grew up in the late 19th century. Though largely initiated by artists and writers of Protestant or Anglo-Irish background, the movement nonetheless captured the imaginations of idealists from native Irish and Catholic background. Periodicals such as ''United Ireland'', ''Weekly News'', ''Young Ireland'', and ''Weekly National Press'' (1891–92), became influential in promoting Ireland's native cultural identity. A frequent contributor, the poet John McDonald's stated aim was "to hasten, as far as in my power lay, Ireland's deliverance". Other organisations promoting of the
Irish language Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards and guidons, kinds of military signs * Heraldic flag, Standard (emblem), a type of a large symbol or emblem used for identification Norms, conventions or requ ...
or the
Gaelic Revival The Gaelic revival ( ga, Athbheochan na Gaeilge) was the late-nineteenth-century Romantic nationalism, national revival of interest in the Irish language (also known as Gaelic) and Irish Gaelic culture (including folklore, sports, music, arts, ...
were the
Gaelic League (; historically known in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually be ...
and later
Conradh na Gaeilge (; historically known in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually be ...
. The
Gaelic Athletic Association The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA; ga, Cumann Lúthchleas Gael ; CLG) is an Irish international amateur sporting and cultural organisation, focused primarily on promoting indigenous Gaelic games Gaelic games ( ga, Cluichí Gaelacha) ar ...
was also formed in this era to promote
Gaelic football Gaelic football (Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom ...
,
hurling Hurling ( ga, iománaíocht, ') is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages indiv ...

hurling
, and
Gaelic handball Gaelic handball (known in Ireland simply as handball; ga, liathróid láimhe) is a sport where players hit a ball with a hand or fist against a wall in such a way as to make a shot the opposition cannot return, and that may be played with two ( ...
; it forbade its members to play English sports such as
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain ...
,
rugby union Rugby union, commonly known simply as rugby, is a Contact sport#Terminology, close-contact team sport that originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the Comparison of rugby league and rugby union, two codes of rugby f ...
, and
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
. Most cultural nationalists were English speakers, and their organisations had little impact in the Irish speaking areas or
Gaeltacht ( , , ) is an Irish term referring individually to any, or collectively to all, of the districts where the government recognises that the Irish language Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards ...

Gaeltacht
aí, where the language has continued to decline (see
article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The category of articles constitutes a part of ...
). However, these organisations attracted large memberships and were the starting point for many radical Irish nationalists of the early twentieth century, especially the leaders of the
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of ...
of 1916 such as Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, and Joseph Plunkett. The main aim was to emphasise an area of difference between Ireland and
Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germanic language, a reconstructed proto-language of ...

Germanic
England, but the most of the population continued to speak English. The cultural Gaelic aspect did not extend into actual politics; while nationalists were interested in the surviving
Chiefs of the Name The Chief of the Name, or in older English usage Captain of his Nation, is the recognised head of a family or clan A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relatio ...
, the descendants of the former Gaelic clan leaders, the chiefs were not involved in politics, nor noticeably interested in the attempt to recreate a Gaelic state.


Home Rule beginnings

Although Parnell and some other Home Rulers, such as
Isaac Butt Isaac Butt (6 September 1813 – 5 May 1879) was an Irish barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks include ...
, were Protestants, Parnell's party was overwhelmingly Catholic. At local branch level, Catholic priests were an important part of its organisation. Home Rule was opposed by Unionists (those who supported the Union with Britain), mostly Protestant and from
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
under the slogan, "Home Rule is
Rome Rule "Rome Rule" was a term used by Irish unionists to describe their belief that with the passage of a Home Rule Bill, the Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian den ...
." At the time, some politicians and members of the British public would have seen this movement as radical and militant. Detractors quoted Charles Stewart Parnell's Cincinnati speech in which he claimed to be collecting money for "bread and lead". He was allegedly sworn into the secret
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the United States ...
in May 1882. However, the fact that he chose to stay in Westminster following the expulsion of 29 Irish MPs (when those in the Clan expected an exodus of nationalist MPs from Westminster to set up a provisional government in Dublin) and his failure in 1886 to support the
Plan of Campaign#REDIRECT Plan of Campaign The Plan of Campaign was a stratagem adopted in Ireland between 1886 and 1891, co-ordinated by Irish politicians for the benefit of tenant farmers, against mainly absentee and rack-rent landlords. It was launched to c ...
(an aggressive agrarian programme launched to counter agricultural distress), marked him as an essentially constitutional politician, though not averse to using agitational methods as a means of putting pressure on parliament. Coinciding as it did with the extension of the
franchise Franchise may refer to: Business and law * Franchising, a business method that involves licensing of trademarks and methods of doing business to franchisees * Franchise, a privilege to operate a type of business such as a cable television pro ...

franchise
in British politics – and with it the opportunity for most Irish Catholics to vote – Parnell's party quickly became an important player in British politics. Home Rule was favoured by
William Ewart Gladstone William Ewart Gladstone (; 29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British statesman and Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an ...

William Ewart Gladstone
, but opposed by many in the British
Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
and
Conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aest ...

Conservative
parties.
Home Rule Home rule is government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens. It is thus the power of a part (administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative ...

Home Rule
would have meant a
devolved Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government A central government is the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), st ...
Irish parliament within the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some f ...

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
. The first two
Irish Home Rule Bill The Irish Home Rule movement was a movement that campaigned for self-government (or "home rule") for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state tha ...
s were put before the
House of Commons of the United Kingdom The House of Commons (domestically known as the Commons) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona ...

House of Commons of the United Kingdom
in 1886 and 1893, but they were bitterly resisted and the second bill ultimately defeated in the Conservative's pro- Unionist majority controlled
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
. Following the fall and death of Parnell in 1891 after a divorce crisis, which enabled the Irish Roman Catholic hierarchy to pressure MPs to drop Parnell as their leader, the Irish Party split into two factions, the INL and the INF, becoming practically ineffective from 1892 to 1898. Only after the passing of the
Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 (61 & 62 Vict. c. 37) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a ...
which granted extensive power to previously non-existent county councils, allowing nationalists for the first time through local elections to democratically run local affairs previously under the control of landlord dominated "
Grand Juries A grand jury is a jury—a group of citizens—empowered by law to conduct legal proceedings, investigate potential crime, criminal conduct, and determine whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may subpoena physical evidence or a ...

Grand Juries
", and William O'Brien founding the
United Irish League The United Irish League (UIL) was a Irish nationalist, nationalist political party in Ireland, launched 23 January 1898 with the motto ''"The Land for the People"'' . Its objective to be achieved through agrarian agitation and land reform, compel ...
that year, did the Irish Parliamentary Party reunite under
John Redmond John Edward Redmond (1 September 1856 – 6 March 1918) was an Irish nationalism, Irish nationalist politician, barrister, and Member of Parliament, MP in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. He was best known as leader of the moderate ...

John Redmond
in January 1900, returning to its former strength in the following September general election.


Transformation of rural Ireland

The first decade of the twentieth century saw considerable advancement in economic and social development in rural Ireland, where 60% of the population lived. The introduction of local self-government in 1898 created a class of experienced politicians capable of later taking over national self-government in the 1920s. The
Land Purchase (Ireland) Act 1903 The Land Acts (officially Land Law (Ireland) Acts) were a series of measures to deal with the question of tenancy contracts and peasant proprietorship of land in Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Five such acts were introduced by t ...
(the Act), passed largely through the efforts of William O'Brien, abolished landlordism, and made it easier for
tenant farmer A tenant farmer is one who resides on land owned by a landlord A landlord is the owner of a house A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less perma ...

tenant farmer
s to purchase lands, financed and guaranteed by the government. By 1914, 75 per cent of occupiers were buying out their landlords' freehold interest through the
Land Commission The Irish Land Commission was created in 1881 as a rent fixing commission by the Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881, also known as the second Irish Land Act. For a century it was the body responsible for re-distributing farmland in most of Ireland. It wa ...
, mostly under the Land Acts of 1903 and 1909. O'Brien then pursued and won in alliance with the Irish Land and Labour Association and D.D. Sheehan, who followed in the footsteps of Michael Davitt, the landmark 1906 and 1911 Labourers (Ireland) Acts, where the Liberal government financed 40,000 rural labourers to become proprietors of their own cottage homes, each on an acre of land. "It is not an exaggeration to term it a social revolution, and it was the first large-scale rural public-housing scheme in the country, with up to a quarter of a million housed under the Labourers Acts up to 1921, the majority erected by 1916", changing the face of rural Ireland. The combination of land reform and devolved local government gave Irish nationalists an economic political base on which to base their demands for self-government. Some in the British administration felt initially that paying for such a degree of land and housing reform amounted to an unofficial policy of "killing home rule by kindness", yet by 1914 some form of Home Rule for most of Ireland was guaranteed. This was shelved on the outbreak of World War I in August 1914. A new source of radical Irish nationalism developed in the same period in the cities outside
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
. In 1896, James Connolly, founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in Dublin. Connolly's party was small and unsuccessful in elections, but his fusion of socialism and Irish republicanism was to have a sustained impact on republican thought. In 1913, during the general strike known as the Dublin Lockout, Connolly and James Larkin formed a workers militia, the Irish Citizen Army, to defend strikers from the police. While initially a purely defensive body, under Connolly's leadership, the ICA became a revolutionary body, dedicated to an independent Workers Republic in Ireland. After the outbreak of the First World War, Connolly became determined to launch an insurrection to this end.


Home Rule crisis 1912–14

Home Rule was eventually won by
John Redmond John Edward Redmond (1 September 1856 – 6 March 1918) was an Irish nationalism, Irish nationalist politician, barrister, and Member of Parliament, MP in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. He was best known as leader of the moderate ...

John Redmond
and the
Irish Parliamentary Party The Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP; commonly called the Irish Party or the Home Rule Party) was formed in 1874 by Isaac Butt Isaac Butt (6 September 1813 – 5 May 1879) was an Irish barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common ...
and granted under the Third Home Rule Act 1914. However, Irish self-government was limited by the prospect of partition of Ireland between north and south. This idea had first been mooted under the Irish Government Bill 1893, Second Home Rule Bill in 1893. In 1912, following the entry of the Third Home Rule Bill through the House of Commons, unionists organised mass resistance to its implementation, organising around the "Ulster Covenant". In 1912 they formed the Ulster Volunteers, an armed wing of Ulster Unionism who stated that they would resist Home Rule by force. British Conservatives supported this stance. In addition, in 1914 British officers based at the Curragh Camp indicated that they would be Curragh incident, unwilling to act against the Ulster Volunteers should they be ordered to. In response, Nationalists formed their own paramilitary group, the Irish Volunteers, to ensure the implementation of Home Rule. It looked for several months in 1914 as if civil war was imminent between the two armed factions. Only the All-for-Ireland League party advocated granting every conceivable concession to Ulster to stave off a partition amendment. Redmond rejected their proposals. The amended Home Rule Act was passed and placed with Royal Assent on the statute books, but was suspended after the outbreak of World War I in 1914, until the end of the war. This led radical republican groups to argue that Irish independence could never be won peacefully and gave the northern question little thought at all.


World War I and the Easter Rising

The Irish Volunteer movement was divided over the attitude of their leadership to Ireland and World War I, Ireland's involvement in World War I. The majority followed John Redmond in support of the British and Allies of World War I, Allied war effort, seeing it as the only option to ensure the enactment of Home Rule after the war, Redmond saying "you will return as an armed army capable of confronting Ulster's opposition to Home Rule". They split off from the main movement and formed the National Volunteers, and were among the 180,000 Irishmen who served in Irish regiment#Irish regiments of the British Army, Irish regiments of the Irish 10th (Irish) Division, 10th and 16th (Irish) Division, 16th Divisions of the Kitchener's Army, New British Army formed for the War. A minority of the Irish Volunteers, mostly led by members of the
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the United States ...
(IRB), refused to support the War and kept their arms to guarantee the passage of Home Rule. Within this grouping, another faction planned an insurrection against British rule in Ireland, while the War was going on. Critical in this regard were Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, and Thomas Clarke. These men were part of an inner circle that were operating in secret within the ranks of the IRB to plan this rising unknown to the rest of the volunteers. James Connolly, the labour leader, first intended to launch his own insurrection for an Irish Socialist Republic decided early in 1916 to combine forces with the IRB. In April 1916, just over a thousand dissident Volunteers and 250 members of the Citizen's Army launched the
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of ...
in the Dublin General Post Office (Dublin), General Post Office and, in the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, Easter Proclamation, proclaimed the independence of the Irish Republic. The Rising was put down within a week, at a cost of about 500 killed, mainly unengaged civilians. Although the rising failed, Britain's John Maxwell (British Army officer), General Maxwell executed fifteen of the Rising's leaders, including Pearse, MacDonagh, Clarke and Connolly, and arrested some 3,000 political activists which led to widespread public sympathy for the rebel's cause. Following this example, physical force Irish republicanism, physical force republicanism became increasingly powerful and, for the following seven years or so, became the dominant force in Ireland, securing substantial independence but at a cost of Partition of Ireland, dividing Ireland. The Irish Parliamentary Party was discredited after Home Rule had been suspended at the outbreak of World War I, in the belief that the war would be over by the end of 1915, then by the severe losses suffered by Irish regiment#Irish regiments of the British Army, Irish battalions in Battle of Gallipoli, Gallipoli at Landing at Cape Helles#V Beach, Cape Helles and on the Western Front (World War I), Western Front. They were also damaged by the harsh British response to the Easter Rising, who treated the rebellion as treason in time of war when they declared martial law in Ireland. Moderate constitutional nationalism as represented by the Irish Party was in due course eclipsed by
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
— a hitherto small party which the British had (mistakenly) blamed for the Rising and subsequently taken over as a vehicle for Irish Republicanism. Two further attempts to implement Home Rule in 1916 and 1917 also failed when John Redmond, leader of the Irish Party, refused to concede partition while accepting there could be no coercion of Ulster. An Irish Convention to resolve the deadlock was established in July 1917 by the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, Lloyd George, its members both nationalists and unionists tasked with finding a means of implementing Home Rule. However, Sinn Féin refused to take part in the Convention as it refused to discuss the possibility of full Irish independence. The Ulster Unionist Party, Ulster unionists led by Edward Carson insisted on the partition of six Ulster counties from the rest of Ireland, stating that the 1916 rebellion proved a parliament in Dublin could not be trusted. The Convention's work was disrupted in March 1918 by Redmond's death and the fierce German spring offensive on the Western Front, causing Britain to attempt to contemplate extending conscription to Ireland. This was extremely unpopular, opposed both by the Irish Parliamentary Party under its new leader John Dillon, the All-for-Ireland League, All-for-Ireland Party as well as Sinn Féin and other national bodies. It resulted in the Conscription Crisis of 1918. In May at the height of the crisis 73 prominent Sinn Féiners were arrested on the grounds of an alleged German Plot (Ireland), German Plot. Both these events contributed to a widespread rise in support for Sinn Féin and the Volunteers. The Armistice with Germany (Compiègne), Armistice ended the war in November, and was followed by elections.


Militant separatism and Irish independence

In the 1918 Irish general election, General election of 1918,
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
won 73 seats, 25 of these unopposed, or statistically nearly 70% of Irish representation, under the British "First past the post" voting-system, but had a minority representation in Ulster. They achieved a total of 476,087 (46.9%) of votes polled for 48 seats, compared to 220,837 (21.7%) votes polled by the IPP for only six seats, who due to the "first past the post" voting system did not win a proportional share of seats. Unionists (including Unionist Labour) votes were 305,206 (30.2%) The Sinn Féin MPs refused to take their seats in Westminster, 27 of these (the rest were either still imprisoned or impaired) setting up their own Parliament called the Dáil Éireann (Irish Republic), Dáil Éireann in January 1919 and declared the Irish Republic to be in existence. Nationalists in the south of Ireland, impatient with the lack of progress on Irish self-government, tended to ignore the unresolved and volatile Ulster situation, generally arguing that unionists had no choice but to ultimately follow. On 11 September 1919, the British proscribed the Dáil, it had met nine times, declaring it an illegal assembly, Ireland being still part of the United Kingdom. In 1919, a guerilla war broke out between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) (as the Irish Volunteers were now calling themselves) and the British security forces ''(See Irish War of Independence)''. The campaign created tensions between the political and military sides of the nationalist movement. The IRA, nominally subject to the Dáil, in practice, often acted on its own initiative. At the top, the IRA leadership, of Michael Collins (Irish leader), Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy, operated with little reference to Cathal Brugha, the Dáil's Minister for Defence or Éamon de Valera, the President of the Irish Republic – at best giving them a supervisory role. At local level, IRA commanders such as Dan Breen, Sean Moylan, Tom Barry (soldier), Tom Barry, Sean MacEoin, Liam Lynch (Irish republican), Liam Lynch and others avoided contact with the IRA command, let alone the Dáil itself. This meant that the violence of the War of Independence rapidly escalated beyond what many in Sinn Féin and Dáil were happy with. Arthur Griffith, for example, favoured passive resistance over the use of force, but he could do little to affect the cycle of violence between IRA guerrillas and Crown forces that emerged over 1919–1920. The military conflict produced only a handful of killings in 1919, but steadily escalated from the summer of 1920 onwards with the introduction of the paramilitary police forces, the Black and Tans and Auxiliary Division into Ireland. From November 1920 to July 1921, over 1000 people lost their lives in the conflict (compared to c.400 until then).


Present day

Northern Ireland is not a part of the Republic, but it has a nationalist minority who would prefer to be part of a united Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the term "nationalist" is used to refer either to the Roman Catholic Church, Catholic population in general or the supporters of the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party. "Nationalism" in this restricted meaning refers to a political tradition that favours an independent, united Ireland achieved by non-violent means. The more militant strand of nationalism, as espoused by
Sinn Féin Sinn Féin ( , ; en, "eOurselves") is an Irish republican and democratic socialist political party active throughout Ireland; both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The History of Sinn Féin, original Sinn Féin organisation wa ...

Sinn Féin
, is generally described as "republican" and was regarded as somewhat distinct, although the modern-day party claims to be a constitutional party committed to exclusively peaceful and democratic means. 56% of Northern Irish voters voted for the United Kingdom to remain a part of the European Union in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 23 June 2016 Referendum in which the country as a whole voted to leave the union. The results in Northern Ireland were influenced by fears of a strong border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as by fears of a hard border breaking the Good Friday Agreement.


References


Citations


Sources

* *


Further reading

* Brundage, David. ''Irish Nationalists in America: The Politics of Exile, 1798–1998'' (Oxford UP, 2016). x, 288 * Boyce, D. George. Nationalism in Ireland, 1982. * Campbell, F. Land and Revolution,2005 * Cronin, Sean. Irish Nationalism: Its Roots and Ideology, 1980. * Edwards, Ruth Dudley, Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure, 1977. * Elliot, Marianne, Wolfe Tone, 1989. * English, Richard. Irish Freedom, 2008. * Garvin, Tom. The Evolution of Irish Nationalist Politics, 1981; Nationalist Revolutionaries in Ireland, 1858-1928, 1987 * Kee, Robert. The Green Flag, 1976. * MacDonagh, Oliver. States of Mind, 1983 * McBride, Lawrence. Images, Icons, and the Irish Nationalist Imagination, 1999. * McBride, Lawrence. Reading Irish Histories, 2003. * Maume, Patrick. The Long Gestation, 1999. * Nelson, Bruce. Irish Nationalists and the Making of the Irish Race. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012. * Strauss, E. Irish Nationalism and British Democracy, 1951. * O'Farrell, Patrick. Ireland's English Question, 1971. * Phoenix, E. Northern Nationalism, * Ward, Margaret. Unimaginable Revolutionaries: Women and Irish Nationalism, 1983 * (attrib.) * Zách, L. (2020). 'The first of the small nations': The significance of central European small states in Irish nationalist political rhetoric, 1918–22. ''Irish Historical Studies'', 44(165), 25-40.


External links


Irish Nationalism
2009-10-31) – ninemsn Encarta (short introduction) {{DEFAULTSORT:Ireland History of Ireland (1801–1923) Politics of Ireland Irish nationalism, Independence movements Celtic nationalism Political movements in Ireland