Rural Labourers, Social Change and Politics in Late Nineteenth-Century Ireland

  • Fintan Lane


Since the late 1960s, considerable scholarly research has been carried out on the interaction between land and politics in nineteenth-century Ireland, especially regarding the post-Famine period and the agrarian policies of constitutional nationalism. Parnellism, in particular, has received much attention and there have been major political biographies of several leading agrarian activists, as well as important general studies such as those by Paul Bew, Samuel Clark and Philip Bull.1 In addition, a number of substantial local studies have appeared, notably James S. Donnelly’s survey of nineteenth-century Cork and Donald E. Jordan’s meticulous examination of popular politics and the land in County Mayo.2 The books just mentioned constitute a mere fragment of the literature on agrarian activism produced over the past four decades and this body of work joins an already significant corpus generated since the late nineteenth century. In many crucial areas, nuance and complexity have been introduced, enhancing our understanding of rural society and the political interplay between farmers, landlords and the state.


Agricultural Labourer Rural Labourer Political Agency Tenant Farmer National League 
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© Fintan Lane 2005

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  • Fintan Lane

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