• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Parnell as a leader of the Irish cause.

Extracts from this document...


Assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of Parnell as a Leader of the Irish Cause Charles Stewart Parnell first entered the scene of the Irish Question in 1875 as a young and charismatic protestant landowner. At the age of only 29, he changed the appearance of the Home Rule party that had done so badly in parliament in the years leading up to Parnell's debut in politics. Isaac Butt had lead the Home Rulers up to 1875 but his unwillingness to impose his own leadership and discipline upon the party led to an inevitable challenge. This came in the form of more militant, Fenian influenced, Home Rulers. J.C Bigger and John O'Connor Power began to 'obstruct' the proceedings in the House of Commons, whereby whenever the business was diverted from anything Irish, which was most of the time, they would intrude the workings of the House with interminable speeches on Irish grievances and injustices. It was these Fenians that Parnell chose to join. After only two years in politics his aggressive attitude and contempt for the opinions the English held led to his being elected as President of the Home Rule Confederation of Great Britain. Despite being in contact with a number of leading Fenians throughout 1877 and 1878, and working with a number in his Home Rule party, he refused to commit himself to their revolutionary programme. ...read more.


The violence raised problems for Parnell, who was away in America raising money for the league, and spreading the word about Irish nationalism. His 'tour' was cut short when he came home to fight the 1880 general election. A month later he was elected as president and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He managed to get his abilities shown, despite resentment against him for his involvement with the Fenians and Agrarian Radicalism. Thusly, his problem of unity lingered. In only 5 years of politics he had become leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party and this rise to power was "the most brilliant political performance in Irish history". Prime Minister Gladstone pushed a second land reform act through the Commons and Lords, in 1881, in order to gain agrarian support. This left Parnell with a dilemma. As he was the Irish Parliamentary Party leader, he had to continue his support for both the militants and the moderates throughout Ireland and the UK and indeed in America. By supporting the Land Act, he would lose favour with the radicals, but if he opposed it he may lose support from the moderates. He stalled for time in this instance, by criticising aspects of the act. ...read more.


He cited Parnell has a respondent on the grounds for adultery with Mrs. Katharine O'Shea. The case came to court in November 1890, and Parnell offered no defence. This divorce led to Parnell's personal reputation being ripped to tatters, and his political career was in ruins. Gladstone found himself under pressure from a wing of his liberal party who refused to accept an alliance with a party whose leader was a self-confessed adulterer. On the first of December 1890, the Irish Parliamentary party met at the House of Commons. The party split with 45 renouncing Parnell's leadership and 37 supporting him. One of Parnell's most bitter opponents, Timothy Healy, said that "the necessities of Ireland are paramount" in response to the scandal that arose. Parnell reacted to this enmity he was facing with characteristic defiance. In the summer of 1891, he fought one last campaign in Ireland at a series of by-elections. Overall however, the anti-Parnellites won, and he died on the 6th of October 1891. Parnell's years of politics had their ups and downs, but he remains thought of as "the uncrowned king of Ireland". He suffered severely for his indulgence of a mistress, and it was this that brought him crashing down. As a leader, he was suitably pragmatic, and set to go far. He took Irish nationalism to heights that it had never reached under the leadership of Emmett or Tone. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Pluralism in domestic politics

    judges people by the way they affect other people's lives, rather than their social status. Perhaps the first strength of the pluralist theory is this image it creates of human nature and the role of the individual in the society.

  2. In what ways and for what reasons did the Treaty of Versailles cause political ...

    in Berlin, to try and install the Wolfgang Kapp as the Chancellor. Another political problem, which caused the most internal tension and friction, was due to the invasion of the Ruhr by the French. This p0roblem had been economically linked, but evidently it led to political problems.

  1. For my creative piece I have written a short story set in the future, ...

    I was then forced to make a resignation speech and the new leader labelled me a criminal for allegedly attempting to assassinate Tony Blair, who was bumped off, and a 2 million pound reward was placed on my head - dead or alive.

  2. British History Coursework: The Irish Famine 1845-1849

    In these circumstances, the farmers had no choice but to be entirely dependent on the potato for food. The centrality of potatoes to the survival of so many people, and of farming in general, meant that if the potato crop failed dramatically, other parts of the agrarian system would also face collapse.

  1. Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party 1882-5 After the Kilmainham ...

    (Ireland & Britain). We cannot ask for less than the restitution of Grattan's Parliament ... But no man has a right to fix the boundary to the march of a nation. No man has a right to say to his country, 'thus far shalt thou go and no farther'.

  2. Using your own knowledge and the evidence of Sources 1, 3 and 5 what ...

    In addition, the members of the First Protectorate Parliament were not submissive to Cromwell, and most had conflicts with some aspect of the constitution. Parliament refused to ratify the constitution, meaning that Cromwell's government had no authority to continue, this weakened the relationship further which was made apparent by the dissolution of Parliament after 5 lunar months.

  1. The Successes and Failures of Charles Stuart Parnell!

    In 1881, a "Land Act" was issued. Parnell ordered the tenants not to accept this, as it did not include all aspects of the agreement. After this, the "Land War" Became even more violent.

  2. personal exercis programme

    reps at 40 kg on all Weight machines that work the Upper body Pectorals, abdominals, biceps , triceps, deltoids, lattisimus dorsi Sunday REST Applying Principles of Training - Overloading My Body Every session I will overload my body by applying the different principles of training.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work