Is Ulster Right? eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 240 pages of information about Is Ulster Right?.
half of its active members, gave the Government a power, which, except under very rare and extraordinary circumstances, must, if fully exercised, have been overwhelming ...  On the other hand, the Irish Parliament was a body consisting very largely of independent country gentlemen, who on nearly all questions affecting the economical and industrial development of the country, had a powerful if not a decisive influence ... and it was in reality only in a small class of political questions that the corrupt power of government seems to have been strained.  The Irish House of Commons ... comprised the flower of the landlord class.  It was essentially pre-eminently the representative of the property of the country.  It had all the instincts and the prejudices, but also all the qualities and the capacities, of an educated propertied class, and it brought great local knowledge and experience to its task.  Much of its work was of that practical and unobtrusive character which leaves no trace in history.”



As soon as the Union had become law, the opposition to it died down rapidly.  All the members who had voted for it who became candidates for the Imperial Parliament were elected, and Irish orators soon began to make their mark in the greater Assembly.  In 1805, however, there was another slight rebellion, led by Robert Emmett.  It never had a chance of success; the mass of the people, thoroughly tired of anarchy, refused to take part in it; and though the rebels succeeded in committing a few murders, the movement was speedily quelled, mainly by the yeomen of Dublin.  At the trial of Emmett, Plunket, who had been a vehement opponent of the Union, was counsel for the prosecution, and in his speech bitterly denounced the conduct of those men who, having done their utmost to oppose the Irish Parliament, now made the abolition of that Parliament the pretext for rebellion.  “They call for revenge,” said he, “on account of the removal of the Parliament.  These men, who, in 1798, endeavoured to destroy the Parliament, now call upon the loyal men who opposed its transfer, to join them in rebellion; an appeal vain and fruitless.”

It will be observed from statements already quoted, that the Nationalists of to-day claim that they are the successors of Emmett; he is counted amongst the heroes who fell in the cause of Ireland—­thus making it all the more clear how wide is the gulf between the Parliamentary opponents of the Union and the modern Nationalists.

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Is Ulster Right? from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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