Ulster's Stand For Union eBook

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.
gigantic, could be accomplished by the mere passing of a law; the history of the United States will teach us a different lesson.”  Ulster always took her stand on the American precedent, though the exemplar was Lincoln rather than Washington.  But although the scale of operations was, of course, infinitely smaller, the Ulster leader would, if it came to the worst, be confronted by certain difficulties from which Abraham Lincoln was free.  He might have to follow the example of the latter in forcibly resisting secession, but his legal position would be very different.  He might be called upon to resist technically legal authority, whereas Lincoln had it at his back.  To guide and control a headstrong people, smarting under a sense of betrayal, when entering on a movement pregnant with these issues, and at the same time to stand up against a powerful Government on the floor of the House of Commons, was an enterprise upon which any far-seeing man might well hesitate to embark.

Pondering over the invitation conveyed to him in his Chambers in the Temple, Carson may, therefore, well have asked himself what inducement there was for him to accept it.  He was not an Ulsterman.  As a Southerner he was not familiar with the psychology of the northern Irish; the sectarian narrowness popularly attributed to them outside their province was wholly alien to his character; he was as far removed by nature from a fire-eater as it was possible for man to be; he was not fond of unnecessary exertion; he preferred the law to politics, and disliked addressing political assemblies.  In Parliament he represented, not a popular constituency, but the University of Dublin.  But, on the other hand, he was to the innermost core of his nature an Irish Loyalist.  His youthful political sympathies had, indeed, been with the Liberal Party, but he instantly severed his connection with it when Gladstone joined hands with Parnell.  He had made his name at the Irish Bar as Crown Prosecutor in the troubled period of Mr. Balfour’s Chief Secretaryship, and this experience had bred in him a hearty detestation of the whining sentimentality, the tawdry and exaggerated rhetoric, and the manufactured discontent that found vent in Nationalist politics.  A sincere lover of Ireland, he had too much sound sense to credit the notion that either the freedom or the prosperity of the country would be increased by loosening the tie with Great Britain.  Although he as yet knew little of Ulster, he admired her resolute stand for the Union, her passionate loyalty to the Crown; he watched with disgust the way in which her defences were being sapped by the Liberal Party in England; and the thought that such a people were perhaps on the eve of being driven into subjection to the men whose character he had had so much opportunity to gauge in the days of the Land League filled him with indignation.

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Ulster's Stand For Union from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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