• 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. The Successes and Failures of Charles Stuart Parnell!

    After this, the "Land War" Became even more violent. In 1882, the "Land War" was still continuing and finally Gladstone decided to negotiate with Parnell to see if the violence could be stopped, in return for another proposition. This was known as "The Kilmainham treaty". Parnell was then released in late April 1882.

  1. personal exercis programme

    This was one more level than I previously completed, before the PEP. After completing the bleep' test I measured my recovery rate. The following table shows the time it took for my heart to go back to my resting heart rate: Time Calculations Heart Rate (bmp)

  2. Nationalism as applied to business

    Criticisms of Anderson's Theory 1. Culturally reductionist 2. His arguments concerning nationalism and religion do not hold in certain cases 3. His thesis that nationalism was born in the Americas runs counter to available evidence 4. His theory concerning anti-colonial nationalisms seems flawed Colony : * a body of people

  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. British History Coursework: The Irish Famine 1845-1849

    The population of Ireland in 1800 was five million. However this had been rapidly expanding since 1815 to its 1841 level of over eight million souls. This had caused increased pressure on land, and holdings were divided into smaller and smaller lots, with increased competition for tenancies. With such a rapid increase in population in a mostly non-industrialized society

  1. WWI, The Twenty-One Demands and The May Fourth Movement

    "MSN Encarta - Print Preview - China." http://encarta.msn.com/text_761573055___64/China.html (07/13/04 19:40:07) "May Fourth Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Fourth_Movement (08/04/04 19:42:32) "May Fourth Movement on Encyclopedia.com." http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/M/MayF1ourt.asp (08/04/04 19:46:53) "May Fourth Movement." http://www.fact-index.com/m/ma/may_fourth_movement.html (08/03/04 19:12:40) "May Fourth." http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~asiactr/haq/199903/9903a003.htm (08/04/04 21:34:27) "Modern History: The May Fourth Movement." http://www.columbia.edu/itc/eacp/japanworks/china/modern/read2.htm (08/10/04 19:08:25)

  2. Slavery in Latin America

    Tensions escalated until, on Apr. 2, 1982, Argentina, now under the rule of Lt.-Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri, invaded and occupied the islands. British forces responded quickly, forcing a surrender by Argentine forces within 6 weeks. The Argentine defeat led to Galtieri's resignation and to the end of military rule.

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