Gladstone and Irish Reform 1868-1882

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  • Gladstone and Irish Reform 1868-882
    • Irish Land League
      • Formed by Davitt in October 1879 - Parnell agreed to become president
      • Aimed to put an end to rack-renting, eviction and landlord oppression. Farmers to become owners on fair terms
      • Between 1879-1883 some 14,600 tenants were turned off the land. More than in the previous 30 years.
      • Urged tenants to offer landlords low rents or none at all
      • Helped tenants that were evicted
      • Applied a boycott against farmers who attempted to take over the holding of an evicted tennant
      • Applied a boycott against the evicting landlords themselves
    • The Land War 1879-82
      • Davitt was a key figure - hatred to the landlord class
      • 1879 - smallholders' struggle in County Mayo. Started opposing evictions and in favour of 'fair rents' and land reform
      • Encouraged Parnell to support the agitation - spoke at Westport in June 1879
      • 'New Departure' - representing agrarian radicalisation, revolutionary nationalism and constitutional nationalism
    • Coercion Act 1881
      • Coercion Bill was opposed by Parnell for 41 hours because of the tactic of obstruction. The bill was soon passed.
      • 3rd February, Davitt was arrested and imprisoned under the new act
        • Led to an uproar in the H of C followed by the suspension and expulsion of 36 Irish MPs including Parnell
    • Second Land Act 1881
      • Fair Rents, Fixity of Tenure and Free Sale
      • Land purchase scheme was more favourable to the tenant - 2/3 to 3/4
    • Kilmainham Treaty 1882
      • The Land Act had defeated the Land League - tenants were using the Land Courts to get rents reduced legally. Land War was coming to a halt
      • If released Parnell could reassert his role as leader of the Irish Party - committed to obtaining Home Rule
      • April 1882 - govt agreed to release Parnell and relax the Coercion Act - in return Parnell agreed to cooperate

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