Tom Garvin, Irish Revolutionaries (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1987)

Quotes George Moore: ‘In those days the peasants were afraid to thatch their houses lest their rent should be raised […] nor was there one peasant in our villages or in Tower Hill villages with a ten pound note … The landlords have had their day, their day is over. We are a disappearing class, our lands are being confiscated, and our houses are decaying or being pulled down to build cottages for the folk. Dialect, idiom, local customs, and character are disappearing, and in a great hurry […]. In another fifty years we will have lost all the civilisation of the eighteenth century; a swamp of peasants with a priest here and there, the exaltation of the rosary and whiskey her lot. A hundred legislators interested only in protecting monkeries and nunneries from secular inquisition.’ (Hail and Farewell, Appleton 19911-14, iii, 361, 364; Tom Garvin, Irish Revolutionaries, Clarendon Press, 1987, p.3.)

The successful conclusion of the Land War weakened the revolutionary impulse seriously. Once the alliance of Enligh Liberalism, Irish agrarianism, [3] and Irish constitutional nationalism had destroyed landlordism, the “agrarian motor” which revoltuionary separatists had hoped to use to move their own rather different cause along, began slowly to run out of fuel; it is arguable that, had the “accident” of the First World War not intervened, the Irish revolution would have died by the mid-twentieth century without realising its objective of complete separation of Ireland from Britain. Since 1890 there has always been a curious revivalist quality to Irish separatism and republicanism deriving from their ambiguous attitude towards reform, cultural change, capitalist develoment and modernisation. / Revolutionary separatist ideology was both modernising and nostalgic […]. The sense of a significant past may be weaker in societies which have become thoroughly modernised than it is in those in which the modern and the traditional have been forced to live in uneasy juxtaposition for long periods, as happened in ireland during the century after the Famine. [p.4]

Identifies W. I. Thompson, The Imagination of a Revolution (OUP 1967), espec. 3-62, with the diagnoses in Craig Jackson Calhoun that the ‘reactionary radicals’ of the pre-industrial middle class forms the core of the revolutionary movement. [6]

The zones in which the movements originated tended to be compact, unindustrialised, and developmentally intermediate. … I shall argue that in Ireland the southern province of Munster, centred on the city of Cork, was a classic example of such a zone. This area, in the part of the island furthest from the [7] industrialised province of Ulster, was developmentally intermediate and was the area where agrarian and separatist movements had their most sustained and ultimately successful expression, culminating in the guerrilla warfare of 1919-23. A disproportionate number of nationalist leaders came from the province of Munster, and much of the ideological basis of the movement in its final phase was devised by Munster writers responding to the social conditions of the southern province. / They were, of course, doomed to become agents of modernisation, and the nostalgic programmes which many of them held so dear had no long-term future.. What did survive was an image of the Irish as the moral, innocent, and potentially corruptible People of God in an amoral, England-dominated world. [7-8]

James Connolly, a somewhat isolated and unrepresentative figure among the revolutionaries, has had the effect of making the ideologies of the revolution appar retrospectively more egalitarian than they actually were. They fluence and occasion brillinacy of Connolly'’s wwritings, combined with the new fashion for socialist ideas that emerged in the 1960s, have intensified this effect, as has the refraction of his ideas in Pearse’s later writings. Because both men becam martyrs, they have been held to be representative’; in fact, both were to the left of the movement, and it would be difficult to say which was the further away from its centre of gravity [135] although in very different directions. Their prestige was so great that a mildly socialist flavour was given to the Democratic Programme of the first Dail in 1919.(pp.135-56.)

Quotes: ‘Judged by English standards the Irish ar a difficult and unsatisfactory people. Their civilisation is different and in many ways lower than that of the English. They are entirely lacking in the Englishman’s distinctive respect for truth and their answers are usually coloured by a desire to say what their questioner wishes. many were of a degenerate type and their methods of making war were in most cases barbarous, influenced by hatred and devoid fo courage. (IWM, Jeudwine Papers, Records of the Rebellion in Ireland, vol. ii, Intelligence, 31-31; Garvin p.140.

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