During the early 1880s a continual interaction of events, ideas, and people in Ireland and the United States created a "Greater Ireland" spanning the Atlantic that profoundly impacted both Irish and American society. In A Greater Ireland: The Land League and Transatlantic Nationalism in Gilded Age America, Ely M. Janis closely examines the Irish National Land League, a transatlantic organization with strong support in Ireland and the United States. Founded in Ireland in 1879 against the backdrop of crop failure and agrarian unrest, the Land League pressured the British government to reform the Irish landholding system and allow Irish political self-rule. The League quickly spread to the United States, with hundreds of thousands of Irish Americans participating in branches in their local communities.
As this "Greater Ireland" flourished, new opportunities arose for women and working-class men to contribute within Irish-American society. Exploring the complex interplay of ethnicity, class, and gender, Janis demonstrates the broad range of ideological, social, and political opinion held by Irish Americans in the 1880s. Participation in the Land League deeply influenced a generation that replaced their old county and class allegiances with a common cause, shaping the future of Irish-American nationalism.
About the Author
Ely M. Janis is an associate professor of history at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Part 1 The Transatlantic Origins of the Land League
1 The "Uncrowned King of Ireland": Charles Stewart Parnell's 1880 Mission to America and the Founding of the Irish National Land League in the United States
2 "An Agitator of the Best Kind": Michael Davitt and the Rise of the Land League in the United States
Part 2 The Effect of the Land League in the United States
3 "From Plymouth Rock Westward to the Golden Gate": The Growth and Spread of the Land League in the United States
4 "Ireland to Us Is Father and Mother and America Is the Wife": Conservative Irish-American Nationalism, the Land League, and the Quest for Respectability
5 "Spreading the Light": Patrick Ford, Irish-American Reform Nationalism, and the Land League
6 "The Women Are Firing the First Shot and Are Going to Keep This Thing Going until It Goes round the World": Gender, Ethnic Nationalism, and the Ladies' Land League in the United States
Part 3 The End of the Land League
7 "Ireland Is Fighting Humanity's Battle": The "No Rent Manifesto," Land Nationalization, and the Radical Challenge in the United States
8 The Road from Kilmainham Gaol: The Death of the Land League and the Triumph of Conservative Irish Nationalism in the United States and Ireland