Methods used by Parnell to achieve his aims up to 1882

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  • Methods used by Parnell up to 1882
    • The Land League
      • An agricultural depression hit Ireland in the late 70's due to poor harvesters in 1877-79 and more famine in West Ireland. Lead to fall in food prices= lower income for farmers= eviction of tenants. In 1879 1000 families had been evicted. Thus begun the 'Land War' 1879-82.
      • Parnell was encouraged by Davitt (a lead protester, a man who had hated the landlord class after his family were forced out of Ireland during the famine) to speak at a demonstration in Westport. He told peasants to 'hold a firm grip of your lands'.
        • This was part of Parnell's calculated prep for the Leadership struggle following Butt's death.
      • Parnell became president of the Land League when it was created in 1879 by Davitt. This, he believed, would encourage the cause of Irish nationalism and give leverage to the Home Rulers at Westminster- he didn't really 'hate' the landlords like Davitt- he was a landlord himself!
        • Also argued that it would force govt to introduce land reform which would mean landlors would back the Home Rule movement because they have been deprived of their priviledges.
    • The Second Land Act
      • After his arrest in 1881, the Irish Party was more unified than ever. Emphasised by Parnell's deliberate refusal to agree to the secession of the Irish Party from the HoC in response to militant's demands in protest of repressive policies.
    • The Kilmainham Treaty 1882
      • Parnell avoided using the support of either the militants or the moderates over the Land Act 1881 by crticising aspects of it without completely rejecting it.
      • Parnell denounced Gladstone as a 'masquerading knight' and was arrested for 'wrecking the working of the Land Act'. This switched attention from Parnell's indecisiveness to the deceitfulness of Gladston and Forster who soon banned the Land League after his arrest.
        • He again avoided conflict, once writing to his mistress that 'it is a fortunate thing [that he] was arrested as [national] movement is breaking fast and all shall be quiet in a few months when I released.'
      • Once the treaty had been written up for Parnell's release, he agreed to use his influence on the militants to accept and support the Land Act. He also agreed to co-operate with the Liberal party in forwarding policy in the future.
      • The relationship between Gladstone and Parnell was shaken after the Phoenix Park murders of Cavendish and Burke by the Irish 'Invincibles' but Parnell redeemed himself by being horrified and shocked.

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