skip to main content
Back to Library Search
  • The End of Liberal Ulster: Land Agitation and Land Reform 1868-1886
  • Dewey Decimal Number: 941.6081
  • No. of Copies: 2
  • Author: Frank Thompson
  • Publisher: Ulster Historical Foundation
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Edition:
  • Publisher City: Belfast
  • No. of Pages: 426
  • ISBN: 9781903688069
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Location (Bay/Shelf):
  • Donor:


Land, its ownership, its occupancy and the fate of the dispossessed has long been one of the most controversial issues in Irish society. Never was this truer than in the Land War period of the 1870s and 1880s. In this well-documented volume, Frank Thompson has provided a clear and refreshing analysis of the land question in Ulster. In political terms, it determined the path of Ulster politics at a critical juncture in Irish history to the extent that it was the central factor in first the rise, then the fall of the Ulster Liberal Party. This thorniest of issues provided the dynamic of the growth of the Liberal Party in Ulster so that, whereas Liberalism was in terminal decline in the other three provinces, there grew an almost irresistible tide of Liberal feeling in the North. However, the very success of the broader movement for land reform ultimately deprived the Liberal Party in Ulster of much of its political capital. Furthermore, the Parnellite campaign in the province from 1883 and Orange reaction to it increasingly divided Ulster along sectarian lines, to the detriment of the Liberal cause. By 1886 Home Rule had become the defining question it would remain until Partition. The Land Question, of course, remained important but it had become clear that the time when it could radically influence the shape of Ulster was past. Within a dramatically short period of coming to prominence, though the Ulster Liberal was not quite an extinct political species, Ulster Liberalism was well and truly a spent force.