The Land War 1879-1882

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  • Land War 1879-1882
    • WHY?
      • Despite Gladstone's reforms, there was still unrest
      • In the 1870s there was another economic crisis
      • Poor harvests in 1877 and 1878
      • Cheap imports from US and Britain meant that prices dropped in Ireland
        • In Tipperary, the price of butter fell by up to 60%
      • Potato harvest in West Ireland fell by up to 75%
      • Money from migrants dried up as the recession hit Britain
      • People were getting angrier and more desperate
    • National Land League of Ireland
      • Founded by Davitt in October 1879 with Parnell as president
        • Parnell combined the issue of radical agrarian reform with Home Rule
          • This created an Umbrella movement and attracted new support- Fenians liked the idea of direct action
            • Parnell himslf walked on a political tightrope- he managed to support revolutionary and radical ideas without actually saying so
      • Aim? To abolish landlordism and enable tenants to own the land they worked on
    • Tactics of the Land League
      • Posters, campaign rallies, slogans- all with the implied threat of violence
      • Suggested by Parnell, rents were withheld and farms where evictions had taken place were left empty
      • Rents weren't paid when people felt that they were unreasonable
      • Landlords who continued to evict could be 'shunned', ignored or could even by beaten up or assassinated
        • One example of this is Captain Boycott, an English landlord in County Mayo. When he tried to evict 11 tenants, the community encouraged all his workers and servants to leave his estate.
          • Boycott was forced to leave and he returned to England
        • September 1880- Landlord 'Lord Mountmorres' was murdered and became widely reported
    • Mayo Campaign
      • 20th April 1879- A huge crowd, led by Davitt, met in County Mayo to call for reduced rent and also protest against the actions of Landlord Canon Ulick Burke who had threatened to evict his tenant
      • This forced Burke to reduce his rent by 25% and kick-started the land war

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