Great Hatred, Little Room: Social Background and Political Sentiment Among Revolutionary Activists in Ireland, 1890–1922

  • Tom Garvin
Part of the Problems in Focus Series book series (PFS)


Irish separatist nationalist elites of the immediate pre-independence period had an ideology which was romantic and almost anti-political; this has commonly been ascribed to the fact that most of these leaders came of age politically during the years of bitterness and disillusion with parliamentarism that followed the collapse of Parnellism in 1890. It is, however, rarely pointed out that the period after 1890 was one of disillusion, political romanticism and cults of violence everywhere in Europe; it was not simply the failure of Parnel’s blend of insurrectionism and constitutionalism that led to the subsequent reversion to ultra-romantic political styles in fin de siècle Ireland. The separatist leaders were children of their time and resembled ideologically other radical movements of the period, whether nationalist, leftist, palaeo-fascist or some other indeterminate ideological mixture.


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© Tom Garvin 1988

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  • Tom Garvin

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