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Why Were Some Forms Of Nationalism More Successful Than Others In Achieving Concessions From The British Government In The Period 1800-1900?

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Introduction

Why Were Some Forms Of Nationalism More Successful Than Others In Achieving Concessions From The British Government In The Period 1800-1900? Constitutional Nationalism, which although prevailed over revolutionary and Cultural Nationalism throughout the period of 1800-1900, combined to spearhead a driving and determined nationalist force campaigning against the diverse British Governments of the period for Emancipation, Repeal of the Union, Home Rule amongst other concessions. Constitutional Nationalism, embodied by O'Connell, was known for legislatively campaigning for concessions; Cultural Nationalism was an evolutionary process while Revolutionary Nationalism was essentially revolutionary known for its commitment to violence and its predominant legacies which were left behind by numerous martyrs of the cause. Daniel O'Connell, himself, was the protagonist of the emancipation story, who was followed by Charles Stuart Parnell in the late 1870s in the Home Rule and Land War sagas of the closing stages of the nineteenth century. Constitutional Nationalism sought greater autonomy for Ireland within the British Empire through gradual, peaceful change. This was personified in O'Connell's clear dismissive attitude of violence in his Emancipation and Repeal movements, which ultimately contributed to his downfall in 1843 at Clontarf. The second unquestioned leader of Irish politics in the nineteenth century, Parnell, was more open to an alliance with the revolutionaries, shown by the 'New Departure', his alliance with the Fenians. ...read more.

Middle

Charles Gavan Duffy, one of the founders of The Nation was himself a well known Irish poet. However, in a year of revolutions throughout the continent, such as in Italy, Germany, Austria and France, The Battle of Widow McCormack's Cabbage Patch is Ireland's sole contribution to the Year of Revolutions, where Smith O'Brien's uprising ended in nothing more than a skirmish with local police in a cabbage patch. In the aftermath of the severity of the Famine, the "Repeal Rent" dried up, and O'Connell died in May 1847. His death marked the end of a period in Irish politics. The Famine, which has been referred to as "passive genocide" due to England's ineffectualness in dealing with it, had a profound influence on later political developments. It left a feeling of resentment against the whole system of government in Ireland and created a legacy distinctly similar to that of some of the martyrs of Revolutionary Nationalism, as it left, ingrained in the mind, a resentment of the British occupation of Ireland. Importantly, two of the Young Ireland members involved, James Stephens and John O'Mahony escaped punishment and both fled to Paris. O'Mahony went to America in 1853 to try to gain support for another uprising from those who had left Ireland during the Famine and Stephens returned to Ireland in 1856 to found the Irish Republican Brotherhood, with the sole aim of independence on its agenda. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet, the incident was turned to his advantage as the obvious sincerity of his reaction made a good impression in Britain. By the end of 1882, Parnell's position in Ireland was stronger than it had ever been before which led to Gladstone's conversion to Home Rule and his first Home Rule Bill was only defeated by 343 to 313. Yet, for the next 20 years, the governments were dominated by the Conservatives. Cultural Nationalism was more specifically concerned with reminding Irishmen of their heritage and was closely linked to the Young Ireland movement especially. The GAA was merely preoccupied with the advancement of Gaelic sports and the Gaelic League was concerned with the preservation of the language itself. Revolutionary Nationalism was for the most part ineffective as such examples as Emmet's 1803 rising, the Young Ireland 1848 insurrection and the Fenian rising of 1867 serve to illustrate. It was only when Revolutionary Nationalism was combined with Constitutional did both reach the potential of achieving concessions from the British Government. O'Connell, to an extent, managed this with his military rhetoric and brinkmanship in the Emancipation struggle, but it was mastered by Parnell in the Land War, where his movement incorporated the Fenians of Ireland and America. Constitutional Nationalism dominated this century in terms of ability to achieve concessions and it was only in a surprise uprising, in the next century, did Revolutionary Nationalism display its full potential. ...read more.

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