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Irish popular politics and the making of the Wyndham Land Act, 1901-1903

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fergus Campbell



The Wyndham Land Act was the most important land reform introduced by any British government during the period of the Act of Union (1801–1922); and this article provides a new interpretation of the origins of this revolutionary legislation. Whereas previous accounts attribute the Act to the initiative of the Irish chief secretary, George Wyndham, this article locates the legislation in the wider context of both popular and ‘high’ politics. The state of the land question in fin de siècle Ireland is examined, as is the United Irish League's extensive agitation for compulsory land purchase between 1901 and 1903. Finally, the impact of the agitation on the British government is considered, and the article demonstrates that the Wyndham Land Act was introduced as a result of the United Irish League's campaign for land reform.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Campbell FJM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Historical Journal

Year: 2002

Volume: 45

Issue: 4

Pages: 755-773

Print publication date: 01/12/2002

Date deposited: 13/12/2007

ISSN (print): 0018-246X

ISSN (electronic): 1469-5103

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0018246X02002662


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