Essay The Rise of Irish Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century

Words: 1700
Pages: 7

Discuss the significance of the political developments within revolutionary and constitutional Irish nationalism from the period 1798 to 1867

Word count 1592

The nineteenth century was a revolutionary and constitutional period in Irelands history, that somewhat shaped the Ireland that we live in today. This essay will explore the political developments, within revolutionary and constitutional Irish nationalism in the period 1798 to 1867.

The late eighteenth century marked the beginning of what was to map Ireland’s future through the nineteenth century and to the present day. Ireland at this time was a deeply divided society. Catholic’s and Presbyterians made up eighty five percent of the population, yet they had no power what so
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The majority of people were angry that Catholic Emancipation brought no improvement in economic conditions but would still follow in whatever direction O’Connell would go. (Beckett 1981).

Daniel O’Connell spent the next decade in Westminster during which time he got the tithes to the Church of Ireland abolished and improvements in Irish government, education and health care. O’Connell continued in his mission for repeal of the union. He and the Catholic Association held monster meetings and in 1843 the government intervened leading to the arrest of O’Connell. He was sent to jail for conspiracy but that was later overturned by the lords. It was after this period that O’Connell’s fight for repeal began to dwindle. Many felt O’Connell was the victim of his own success. Catholic Emancipation restored credibility to the union. Therefore O’Connell would find it extremely difficult to repeal a union that he effectively made stronger by winning emancipation. (Pelling 2003).

When the Great Famine took hold of Ireland it created mass economic poverty for most of Irelands poor class, resulting in thousands of Irish people immigrating to America. Many people blamed England for not doing enough to help Ireland in this time of hardship. And it can be argued that this was the creation of the anti-English feeling which fuelled all manner of nationalist movements. At this same time in 1847 James Fintan Lalor emerged from total obscurity. Having spent