The divided Irish; an historical sketch


Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us;
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
And foolish notion.”




This work is republished with additions, in the hope that it may be useful to general readers. When first published, in 1888, an able London Review stated that it laid too much stress on the clerical element in Irish politics. Recent history, however, apparently justifies the views then expressed. When the clergy of the Irish majority withdrew their support from Mr. Parnell he lost influence with a decisiveness that astonished even his shrewd and practical mind. Whether he lost it deservedly or not may be a matter of opinion. But of the fact and its result there can be no doubt, proving that in politics, clerical influence among the Irish masses remains the chief and ultimate guide.

A. S. G. Canning.
June, 1894.


CHAPTER I. Introduction.
CHAPTER II. From the reign of Henry the Eighth the enmity between the English and Irish, and later between the British and Irish, became mingled with religious antagonism.
CHAPTER III. The religious hostility between British Protestants and Irish Catholics replaces national enmity.
CHAPTER IV. British and Irish historians and poets increase rather than diminish this hostility.
CHAPTER V. Decisive political influence of the Irish Catholic clergy over their people in James the Second’s reign.
CHAPTER VI. The aims and desires of Irish Catholics, Prelatists, and Presbyterians compared.
CHAPTER VII. The Irish revolt of 1798 compared to previous Irish wars and rebellions.
CHAPTER VIII. Mistaken ideas of the Irish rebels about their chief leader, Wolfe Tone, in 1798.
CHAPTER IX. Effect in Ireland of Napoleon the First’s career and the European alliance against him.
CHAPTER X. Great but temporary influence of O’Connell throughout Ireland.
CHAPTER XI. After O’Connell’s death, the Irish disaffected as in 1798, seek alliance with French republicanism.
CHAPTER XII. Effect of the European revolutions of 1848 and later years upon the Irish people.
CHAPTER XIII. The Fenian movement is more connected with America than with France, and is opposed by the Catholic clergy.
CHAPTER XIV. The Home Rule agitation succeeds the Fenian movement.—Remarkable influence of Mr. Parnell over the Irish at home and abroad.
CHAPTER XV. Adherence of Mr. Gladstone to the cause of Home Rule.—Secession of Liberal Unionists.
CHAPTER XVI. Mr. Parnell repudiated by Mr. Gladstone.—Revolt of the majority among Mr. Parnell’s followers, who substitute Mr. Justin M’Carthy.—Mr. Parnell’s death.— Mr. Redmond chosen in his place by the minority.
CHAPTER XVII. Development of the antagonism between Irish landlords and tenants.
CHAPTER XVIII. Religious enmity in Ireland permanent since the Reformation.
CHAPTER XIX. Continued prevalence of religious animosity among the Irish masses, Catholic and Protestant, despite the spread of secular education.
CHAPTER XX. Ancestral ideas and prejudices remain the foundation of Irish popular sentiment.
CHAPTER XXI. General ignorance or misconception of History in Ireland amid increased enlightenment on other subjects.

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