7

THE MAKING OF PARNELLISM AND ITS UNDOING

The Home Government Association was founded as another attempt to discover the holy grail of Irish politics: a comprehensive nationalism that corresponded to the pluralist nature of the Irish people. As always, Anglo-Irishmen were in the forefront of that search; and 1870 seemed an appropriate year to launch a political movement aimed at embracing all Irishmen who were dissatisfied with the government of their country. Roman Catholic concern over the state of affairs in Ireland was reinforced by Protestant disenchantment with the Gladstonian government’s belief that justice for Ireland also meant injustice for Protestants; or so it seemed to them. The disestablishment of the church of Ireland in 1869 appears in retrospect a liberal and even a moral measure, for the Anglican church was a church of a minority of Irishmen and could not even claim to represent all Protestants. But to its children it was a bitter blow, not only to the church but to the Irish nation, for to them the church of Ireland was the national church, whatever religion the majority of the people, in their unwisdom, might profess. The opening lines of an anthem written for use in Derry Cathedral on 1 January 1871 summed up Anglican dismay at Gladstone’s apostasy:


Darkly dawns the new year
On a churchless nation. 1

Moreover, Anglicanism had in the eighteenth century been an important and, to some nationalists, an essential ingredient of national identity; and since the destruction of the Irish Parliament in 1800 the church of Ireland was the one remaining institution of national character with which Protestants could identify. Now it appeared that the national church was in danger of going the same way as the national Parliament. ‘The protestants of Ireland’, remarked one critic, ‘had found to their cost that when the interest of the English Government is at stake, their interests are made a plaything and a bauble in the battle of party’. 2 And all this, it was claimed was the work of ‘politicians who knew nothing about its wants and care less about its interests’. 3

To add injury to insult the British prime minister was now

-192-

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Nationalism in Ireland
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 5
  • Preface to the Third Edition 6
  • Preface to the Second Edition 8
  • Preface 9
  • Introduction: Nationalism and Ireland 15
  • 1 - Colony and Nation 25
  • 2 - Intimations of Nationalism in Tudor Ireland 46
  • 3 - For God, King and Country 68
  • Notes 91
  • 4 - From English Colony to Irish Nation: the Protestant Experience 94
  • 5 - The Irish, Properly So Called 123
  • 6 - Patterns of Nationalism, 1842-1870 154
  • Notes 187
  • 7 - The Making of Parnellism and Its Undoing 192
  • 8 - The Battle of Three Civilizations 228
  • 9 - What Home Rule Stood For, 1891-1918 259
  • 10 - Nationalism, Socialism and the Irish Revolution 295
  • 11 - State and Nation in Modern Ireland 339
  • Notes 370
  • Conclusion: Ireland and Nationalism 375
  • Epilogue: History, Politics and Nationalism 391
  • Appendix: the Downing Street Declaration , 15 December 1993 433
  • Maps 438
  • Bibliography 443
  • Supplementary Bibliography 477
  • Index 488
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