Nationalism In Irish Nationalism

1296 Words6 Pages
This essay illustrates how and why ideas about the past were used by Irish nationalists between 1800 and 1915 to justify their political cause. In examples of political nationalism, the Catholic emancipation campaign, the repeal of the Act of Union, and Daniel O’Connell’s memorial at Glasnevin are analysed. Concerning cultural nationalism, the essay examines Thomas Davis and the Young Ireland movement, the Neolithic site of Newgrange, George Petrie, and finally, the language and literary revivals of the Gaelic League. In addition, these examples are demonstrated to be inventions of tradition conforming to Eric Hobsbawm’s three types of tradition. Known as the ‘the Liberator’, Daniel O’Connell (1775–1847) campaigned for Catholic emancipation, seeking equal civil rights for Catholics. This culminated in the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act in 1829. After this success of political nationalism, O’Connell used his position as a Member of Parliament to seek the repeal of the Act of Union binding Britain and Ireland, “As with his Catholic emancipation campaign, he made use of mass meetings and in 1843 evoked the spirit of the high kings of ancient Ireland in a meeting of over 500,000 people at their historic seat, the Hill of Tara” (Laurence, 2008, pg. 158). Choosing to evoke the spirit of the high kings of ancient Ireland is significant because it recalls a time in Ireland’s history before the Anglo-Normans, and the allusion to a glorious past generated patriotism
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