Gladstone And Irish Reform 1868 - 82 Flashcards Preview

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Why did Gladstone decide to take up the Irish question in 1868?

- Spring 1866, Liberal Reform Bill defeated in Commons leading to resignation of government
- Lord Derby and Disraeli came into power at head of minority Tory administration, pushed through Reform Bill in summer of 1867
- Aim to enfranchise only small minority of urban working class based upon principle of Household suffrage
- Second Reform Act 1867 add over million new voters to electorate - most working men who now a majority of voters in urban areas
- About one in threed adult men could vote
- Passage of second act followed by retirement of Russell and succession of Gladstone as liberal leader - early in 1868, Lord Derby retired and Disraeli Tory PM
- Spring 1868, Gladstone introduced resolutions into Commons in favour of disestablishment of Church - pillars of ascendancy, passed by comfortable majorities
- Opposition to religious priviledge subject all Liberals could unite - result was dissolution of parliament and election in Nov 1868
- Gladstone won majority of 100 seats - mission was to pacify Ireland
- Action was not inevitable of long/consuming interest in Irish affairs - paid little attention to country over next 21 years.
- Introduction of income tax in 1853 during period as Chancellor and made only one visit in 1877   - farming remained prosperous in 1868 and figures of agraian crime and violence low


What was Fenianism? Aims, goals, incidents?

Fenians members of secret revolutionary orgainsation established in Ireland and US in 1858
Committed to forcible oveethrow of UK power and establishment of Indepdent Irish republic
Gained fair amount of support in 60s and had own paper the Irish People - run by movements found/leader James Stephen
1865 - UK government responded by arresting leading Fenians throughout UK
Brotherhood planned armed outbreak in Ireland in 1867 but complete fiasco owing to preparedness of authorities and lack of any support
Fenians transferred activities to UK mainland carrying out 2 attacks made them notorious and earning publicity
1867 - Manchester carrying out successful rescue of 2 leading Fenians from prison van and killing a policeman
London in Dec 1867 - Terrorists blew up part of wall of Clerkenwell Prison to secure release of Fenian prisoners and loss of about 12 innocent lives
England outrages greeted with horror/anger but Ireland the 3 Fenians arrested and executed for murder of policeman known as Manchester martyrs
Gladstone later denied Fenian activities had direct influence on Irish policcy but argue powerfully they brought home to popular mind
Fenianism helped confirm growing conviction that Irish had genuine grievances which must be dealt with if Ireland was to be maintained within Union in peace/prosperity
Made UK public believed more amenable to Irish reform - public speech at Southport, Gladstone outlined programme of Irish reform which covered religion,land,uni education


What were political advantages of Irish reform?

Gladstone not unaware of political advantages of Irish reform - support for disestablishment of Church in parliamentary resolutions may have conceived as means of reuniting Liberal after divisions over reform in 1866-67 and attempted led to 1868 election to regain political initiative from Disraeli
Gladstone believed enlarged electorate by Second Reofmr Act, Irish Church reform would appeal to Roman Catholics and nonconformists and working men throughout UK many whom opposed priviledges of own Anglican Churches


With what success did Gladstone introduce a series of reforms to remedy Irish grievances and ensure the stability of the Union?
1) Irish Church Act 1869 - disestablishment? Disendowment? Signficance?
2) First Irish Land Act 1970 - Custom? Eviction? Land Purchase? Successes/Failures?
3) Irish Universities Bill 1873 - successes/failures?

1) Disestablishment of Church OF Ireland played high part in Liberal electoral campaign. Case for reform unanswerable. Church of Ireland establishment Church, never represented more than tiny minority of Irish people. Catholics numbered in 1861 4.5 million. Even conservatives accepted position of Church of Ireland required change. As PM in 1868 Disraeli laboured to find measure of reform.
First part of Bill - disestablishment clauses meant link between CHurch and state was borken and Church of IReland was separate organisation from 1871. Tithes no longer paid to Church by all Irishmen and Irish Anglican Archbishops and Bishops no longer in House of Lords
Disendowment - disposal of properties belonging to Church of Ireland proved difficult as Gladstone torn between demands of Anglicans and Catholics. Compromise produced which fair and acceptable - £10 million granted to Church of Ireland for pensions to clergy and compensation and £13 million granted for secular purposes like relief for poverty and education. State grant to Maynooth College and Presbyterian church abolished though compensation provided. Purchase of lands by tentants and about 6000 farmers took advantage
Bill passed through Commons and Tory majority in Lords didnt oppose it. Most success piece of IRish legislation by Gladstone but made little difference to lives of majority of Irish people

2) Concluded main problem was landlord-tenant relationship, what needed to give more economic security for tenants.
Ulster Custom - concerned those lands were rented in accordance with Ulster Custom - tenants couldnt be evicted so long as continued to pay rent. Tenants possessed right of free sale, tenant gave up holding had the right to sell interest to acceptable incoming tenant by claiming compensation.
Eviction - tenants who evicted had to compensated by landlords for improvements they made in their holdings.
Land purchase - enabled tenants wishing to purchase holding from landlord to obtain 2/3 of purchase price as grant from state
Land BIll not meant to undermine but improve position of IRish landlord class by removing obstacles for good realtions with tenants.
Irish land act not successful by own terms
- problem of ulster custom was complicated
- Bright Clauses failrue since offered no incentive to landlordss to sell and tenants couldnt afford 1/3 purchase price
- eviction clause had little impact since controlling rents was ignored
3) Irish Universities Bill - reform badly needed since Catholics had no major degree awarding institutions. Trinity College was ANglican foundation established by Peel in 1840s. Gladstone propsed establishment of nation University of Dublin which embrace both Trinity college and present and future Catholic colleges. Even practical problems of teaching controversial subjects such as history and theology, Trinity no wish to be involved. Any new Catholic college would get no financial help from state
Irish Bill defeataed in Commons. Gladstone resigned but came back into power.


What factors led to the growth of the Home Rule Movement in Ireland?
Discuss Parnell, Home Rule League, Home Rule Party

A new movement for constitutional change had arisen - leading figure was Isaac Butt, Butt begun career as staunch Unionist and sat in Commons as COnservative MP from 1852 to 65. Growing disillusion with Commons for dealing with Irish affairs with experiences of Fenian political prisoners he defended in court led him to become Irish nationalist. No sympathy for Fenian ideal of armed rebellion and Irish independence but now believed form of self government in Ireland.
As a result of Butt initiative - Home Rule Association formed in Dublin in 1870 as non sectarian organisation, appealing to men of all persuasions, committed to Home Rule for Ireland. Association won little support from Catholics, since most pinned faith on Gladstone and Liberals. When leaders of Association widened programme with issues like tenant rights, began to build up more support
1873 - organisation replaced with Home Rule League - beggining of that Gladstone incurred wrath of Catholic Church and many Liberal MPs over Universities Bill - Irish electorate more sympathy on claims of Home Rule League. Organisation hardly got off the ground - League won 59 seats in 1874 - result helped by 1872 Ballot Act which introduced secret ballot at elections
When parliament assembled in 1874 - Disraeli triumph at polls, Butt and followers constituted into independent Home Rule Party with own officials and organisations. Had little impact on Commons or English public opinion. Party lacked any real unity in ideas, organisation or membership. Commitment to Home Rule did little to bind them together.
Butt weak leader, lacked single mindedness and ruthlessness, ability to inspire followers, dedicated national leader? Butt unwilling to impose own leadership and discipline upon Home RUle Party to weild it into powerful instrument for focing Commons to consider the cliams
Butt leadership challenged by group of militant Home Rulers - Biggar and O'Connor both Fenians apply tactics of obstruction in Commons. Involved interminable speeches on Irish affairs to disrupt parliamentary business and focus Commons on Irish greivances - joined by Parnell a young Protestant landowner.
Parnell aggressive attitude and contempt for English opinion made him popular hero for militant Irish antionalists and in 1877 elected President of Home RUle Confederation. Bitter blow for Butt who power waning. Parnell private contact with leading Fenians in 1877-78 and refused to commit to revolutionary programme but impressed and prepared to co-operate.
Parnell made no attempt to challenge directly Butts position as leader of Home RUle Party - The Irish national cuase now linked with agrarian crisis


What factors led to formation of the Land League?
Land War? New Departure?

In 1870s - series of poor harvests in 1877-79, re appeareance of famine in west owing to failing potato crop, import of cheap grain from USA affected England. Followed by slump in food prices, prices of RIsh cattle and dairy down. Smallholders suffered from drying up of opportunities for migratory work in England. Agricultural depression in Ireland was drastic fall in incomes, responded by demanding the reduction or remittance of rents. Many landlords prepared to agree, non payments by tenants led to eviction. About 1000 families in 1879 turned off land. This led to a Land War of 1879-82
Key figure was Davitt - family evicted from smallholding in 1851 and emigrated to Lancashire. Davitt burning hatred for landlord class of Ireland and ENglish domination. Joined the Fenians and arrested in 1870 for arm trafficking and servec 7 years. Davitt rejoined Fenians - believed in co-operation of Constitutional nationalists. Visited USA in 1878 and met John Devoy - views similar to his own and Devoy encouraged him to work for land reform and self government
Davitt threw himself into smallholders struggle in County Mayo against landlords, organising meetings and demonstrations in opposition to evictions and in favour of fair rent and land reform. Encouraged Parnell to support agitiation. Parnell agreed to speak at demonstration at Westport in 1879 appealing to smallholders to hold firm grip of your homesteads and lands.
In attempt to use land agitation as battering ram for Irish nationalist cause, Davitt followed up by arranging meeting between him, Devoy and Parnell at DUblin in June 1879 - 3 men wh represented agraian radicalism, revolutionary nationalism and constitutional nationalism - informal agrrement in support of tenant demands and IRish self government.


How did activities of Land League help Parnell's rise?
Look at the Irish National Land League, the aims,. Tactics.

Oct 1879 - Davitt formed Irish National Land League funded by Irish-American money and Parnell became President
Parnell motives in supporting tenant agitation? Did agree with immeidate demands for 3Fs, eventually the buying out of the landlords. Parnell never radical land reformer and more sympathetic to Irish landlords - motives political.
SUpport for agrarian movement encourage the cause of constitutional nationalism and give leverage to Home RUlers at Westminster.
Argued agitation would force UK government to introduce land reform and help to bring end the conflict between tenants and landlords and throw their weight behind the Home Rule Movement.
Parnell enough of a landed man to hope that self governing Ireland would be ruled by men of position and influence - not dissimilar from Gladstones views
Parnell believed support for Irish tenantry would strengthen own position against moderates within Irish Parliamentary Party.
Aims: put end to rack renting, eviction and landlord oppression, radical change in land system, every farmer to become owner of the land he tills. ORganisation amopng people for purpose of self defence, cultivation of public opinion by persistent exposure, resolute demand for reduction of excessive rents, temperate but firm resistance to oppression and injustice. Real motives argued in atttacking landlords and demanding the 3Fs was to jack up their dwindling incomes by obtaining rent reductions
Tactics: Leadership of Davitt and supporters of Land League became weapon of popular protest against landlord class and in day to day terms concerned with problems of eviction. Between 1879 and 1883 some 14,600 tenants turned off land - more than in previous 30 years
League urged tenants to offer landlords lower rent or no rent, help tenants who evicted, cared for families who those imprisoned, applied boycott against farmers who attempted to take over holding of an evicted tenant, applied boycott against evicting landlords themselves
VIolence was sure to erupt - 2590 incidents reported 1880 and menat murders as well as others like assaults, intimidation ect.
Land League legal organisation and could not be prosecuted easily. Police/Troops used to protect persons property but sporadic and varied nature of outrages - perpertrated at night by moonlighters and silence acquiescene of local populance made whole situation difficult
Parnell didnt want to be associated with the violence as a constitutionalist
In the 1880 election 61 Home RUlers returned to parliament


What effects did the Coercion Act have on Parnell and his party?

Gladstone PM for second time - no plans for further Irish reform. Apart from vague commitment to franchsie and local government reform, Liberals came into power in 1880 with no definite programme
PM though accepted exceptional pwoers of arrest and imprisonment must first be granted to authorities. 1881 Coercion Bill - opposed by Irish Party led by Parnell for 41 hours - using tactics of obstruction, until own inititive the Speaker brought debate to an end using unprecendented device of guillotine. BIll then passed
On 3 Feb, Davitt arrested and imprisoned under new act, lead to uproar in House followed by suspension and expuslion of 36 Irish MPs including Parnell - this unified the Irish Parliamentary Party and increased personal prestige and authortiy of its leader - emphasised by Parnell support a No Rent campaign or to authorise withdrawal of Irish Patty from Commons


How did the Second Land Act lead to the demise of the Land League?

Gladstone introduced a Second Land Act with the 3Fs - Fair rent, fixity of tenure, Free Sale
Government included land purchase scheme - raised states proportion of the purchase price to 3/4
But in areas of the west, lack of cultivable land rather than problems of rents that was problem for smallholders - emphasising on land reclamation and improvement by some land reformers.
Over next few years, reduction of 20% in rents, harsh economic effect and rapidly declinjing moral led to unpopularity and landlord class considered selling off their estates though land purchase claush still regarded as insufficiently generous by most tenants
As Irish leader, Parnell had to maintain support of both militants and moderates. If supported Land Act he would denounce the militants and if he opposed it, might lose support of the moderates.
He criticised aspects of the Act like exclusion of tenants in arrears without rejecting it but refused to co-operate with working of Land Courts.
Gladstone warned leaders of Land League, Parnell deliberately wrecking working of Land Art and he was arrested and imprisoned. Switched attention from Parnells indecisiveness to perfidy of Gladstone and Forster - all nationalist Irishment it turned Parnell into a martyr for the cause


How were Gladstone and Parnell able to reach substantial agreement by 1882?
Look at Kilmainham Treaty, Phoenix Park Murders

Kilmainham - Gladstone realised imprisonment of Parnell served nothing, violence inevitably worsened rather than improved. Parnell on his side accepted that situation had changed dramatically. LAnd Act defeated the Land League. Tenants had earlier ignored Leagues call for no rent and now using new Land Cours to get rents reduced legally. Land War grinding to a halt.
Parnell had personal reasons to be released from prison as Kitty O Shea was pregnant with his child
Agreement between Gladstone, Parnell, Chamberlain oustanding Radical in government and Captain O'Shea, rapidly concluded in April 1882 - Kilmainham Treaty. Government agreed to release Parnell and relax the Coercion Act and amend Land Act so help those in arrears with rent. Parnell agreed to use influence against violence and accept/support the Land Act and work of Land Courts. Also agreed if government carried out his side of bargain to cooperate with future of Liberal Party
Brutal murder of Lord Frederick Cabendish and TH Burke in Phoenix Park, Dublin by Irish revolutionary group the Invicinbles. SHock/horror Parnell displaed created good impression in Commons and persuaded by Gladstone to abandon his orginal intentions of giving up politics.
Phoenix Park Murders followed by reaction against violence in UK and USA and new Irish Secretary Trevelyan felt compelled to impose new security measures. Events drove home to Parnell and all politic observers the basic fact of Irish situation - politics had superseded the agrarian struggle