The Great Famine Of Irish Nationalism

1999 Words Dec 8th, 2014 8 Pages
French political leader Charles de Gaulle said that “nationalism is when hate for people other than your own comes first,” by this definition turning points in Irish Nationalism can be seen not as what changed as in regards love for Ireland, but what changed hatred for the English withinin Ireland. There are numerous significant turning points in Irish Nationalism; it could be argued that The Great Famine is the largest turning point in Irish Nationalism as it encouraged independence through means of violence as well as cementing a deep-rooted hatred of the English in Ireland. Equally, the failure of the First Home Rule Bill can be maintained as the largest turning point as it led to the decline of the liberals, Charles Stuart Parnell and constitutional nationalism. Alternatively, The First World War can be judged as the prime turning point, mainly due to its short term affects. It split the nationalists, which led to the Easter rising, and increased agitation over Home Rule.

It could be argued that The Great Famine was the utmost turning point in Irish Nationalism due to the lack of action of the British Government, which left deep-rooted hatred for the English within Ireland. Government expenditure for the famine equaled a total of £8 million, 3% of the total government budget. The British Government stuck closer to a laissez-faire economic policy, which is echoed through Charles Trevelyan who claimed that through relief “people grow worse instead of better.” The Irish…

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