Irish Home Rule considers the pre-eminent issue in British politics during the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. It is the first account to explain the various self-government plans, to place these in context and examine the motives for putting the schemes forward. The book distinguishes between moral and material home rulers, making the point that the first appealed especially to outsiders, some Protestants and the intelligentsia, who saw in self-government a means to reconcile Ireland’s antagonistic traditions. In contrast, material home rulers viewed a Dublin Parliament as a forum of Catholic interests. This account appraises the home rule movement from a fresh angle, distinguishing it from the usual division drawn between physical force and constitutional nationalists It maintains that an ideological continuity runs from Young Ireland, the Fenians, the early home rulers including Isaac Butt and Charles Stewart Parnell, to the Gaelic Revivalists to the Men of 1916. These nationalists are distinguishable from material home rulers not on the basis of methods or strategy but by a fundamental ideological cleavage.
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