The End of Liberal Ulster: Land Agitation and Land Reform, 1868-1886

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Ulster Historical Foundation, 2001 - History - 426 pages
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Land, its ownership, its occupancy and the fate of the dispossessed has long been one of the most controversial issues in Irish society. Never was this truer than in the Land War period of the 1870s and 1880s. In this well-documented volume, Frank Thompson has provided a clear and refreshing analysis of the land question in Ulster. In political terms, it determined the path of Ulster politics at a critical juncture in Irish history to the extent that it was the central factor in first the rise, then the fall of the Ulster Liberal Party. This thorniest of issues provided the dynamic of the growth of the Liberal Party in Ulster so that, whereas Liberalism was in terminal decline in the other three provinces, there grew an almost irresistible tide of Liberal feeling in the North. However, the very success of the broader movement for land reform ultimately deprived the Liberal Party in Ulster of much of its political capital. Furthermore, the Parnellite campaign in the province from 1883 and Orange reaction to it increasingly divided Ulster along sectarian lines, to the detriment of the Liberal cause. By 1886 Home Rule had become the defining question it would remain until Partition. The Land Question, of course, remained important but it had become clear that the time when it could radically influence the shape of Ulster was past. Within a dramatically short period of coming to prominence, though the Ulster Liberal was not quite an extinct political species, Ulster Liberalism was well and truly a spent force.
 

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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
x
TENANTRIGHT AND TEN ANT FEARS
35
THE TENANTRIGHT MOVEMENT
61
Tl IE LAND ACT OF 1870
85
THE TENANTRIGHT MOVEMENT 187074 114
104
LIBERALS CONSERVATIVES AND TENANTRIGHT
136
AGRICULTURAL DEPRESSION AND LANDLORD
170
TIll LAND I I AGUE IN ULSTHR 196
201
THE LAND ACT OH 1881
248
THE ECLIPSE OF THE LAND QUESTION
275
CONCLUSION
299
APPENDICES
312
NOTES
319
BIBLIOGRAPHY
382
INDEX
401
Copyright

THE RESPONSE TO THE LAND AGITATION
222

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