CONCLUSION: IRELAND AND NATIONALISM

The strength and endurance of the nationalist tradition in Ireland gives that country its distinctive place in the history of the British Isles. Wales and Scotland possessed as strong, and in many respects more deep-rooted, sentiments of nationality; Scotland had the additional advantage of an existence as a united, distinct kingdom for hundreds of years, while Ireland was a fragmented polity. Yet it was Ireland that most strongly resisted English colonization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which enjoyed a separate, if subordinate legislature in the eighteenth century, when Scotland was united with England, and which, when modern politics began to develop in the mid-nineteenth century, sent to Westminster not Liberals, but, in their place, Irish nationalists of varying shades and hues. Ireland alone developed a significant physical force tradition; yet in the eighteenth century it was Scotland which, for 50 years, remained the most rebellious part of the British Isles. Wales retained her linguistic identity longer and more effectively than Ireland; yet it was in Ireland that a strong cultural nationalist movement rose, which did not lose its momentum, but strongly influenced separatist nationalism in the early twentieth century. And it was Ireland alone that broke away from the United Kingdom and evolved a completely independent sovereign status. Irish nationalism is, in a word, (and using that word in the vulgar, popular sense) ‘Irish’: paradoxical, self-contradictory and guided by its own internal logic.

The historian, faced with these contradictions, might seek solace, possibly even explanation, in the general laws of social science: if Ireland and Irish nationalism were subjected to the rigorous methodology of the social sciences, instead of the very imprecise and discrete analysis offered here, the short sharp shock might bring Irish nationalism to its senses. And, thus stabilized, Ireland might conform, or be made to conform, to the rules of the game, instead of pursuing her own wayward path.

Since it is accepted medical practice to subject a recalcitrant patient to the latest cure prescribed by experts, the theory of modernization might first be applied. Modernization has been defined as ‘the complex of social changes which accompany the transformation of an agricultural society into one dominated by, or in the shadow of, factory

-375-

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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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