The Effectiveness of Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders in Advancing Their Cause in the Years 1801 and On

1788 Words Jul 17th, 2018 8 Pages
The Effectiveness of Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders in Advancing Their Cause in the Years 1801 and On

The Act Of Union in 1800 meant there was no longer any Irish institution capable of advancing either an Irish nationalist or catholic cause. As a result the advancement of those causes depended on influencing the British Government directly. The catholic cause initially focused on securing emancipation for the catholic population and aimed to improve the lives and rights of Catholics throughout the period. The nationalist cause fought for greater Irish autonomy with full independence as its greater aim. In evaluating the effectiveness of the Irish leaders Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stuart
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Whereas O'Connell was satisfied in 1829 it seems Parnell wanted greater reform. Parnell was able to wield more power within parliament than O'Connell due to the weak governments of the time. In 1885 the IPP held the balance of power, which allowed Parnell to use his political skill to earn the prospect of home rule. The fact that both the Conservative and Liberal parties had promised a Home Rule Bill shows the power Parnell held and the possibility that existed for real, more attainable changes in Ireland. The passing of The Ashbourne Act as a statement of Conservative will demonstrates this. It can be argued that the Home Rule Bill was an achievement in itself and opened Westminster to the possibility of home rule. I do not believe the break-up of the Liberal party was a disaster for Irish nationalist hopes of home rule as Gladstone was able to attempt a second bill in 1892. Though it was unwise for Parnell to attempt such a bill at the time particularly as he was not involved in its inception. Alan O'Day explains how Gladstone 'took few of his colleagues or Parnell into confidence about the details of the bill' and how it contained a great many negative provisions.

Following Parnell's infamous home rule attempt no other leader of the IPP emerged as such an
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