[Footnote 1: There was one case—North Louth—in which two Nationalists opposed one another, and I have left that case out of the calculation.]
AMERICAN HOME RULE
BY E.L. GODKIN
American experience has been frequently cited, in the course of the controversy now raging in England over the Irish question, both by way of warning and of example. For instance, I have found in the Times as well as in other journals—the Spectator, I think, among the number—very contemptuous dismissals of the plan of offering Ireland a government like that of an American State, on the ground that the Americans are loyal to the central authority, while in Ireland there is a strong feeling of hostility to it, which would probably increase under Home Rule. The Queen’s writ, it has been remarked, cannot be said to run in large parts of Ireland, while in every part of the United States the Federal writ is implicitly obeyed, and the ministers of Federal authority find ready aid and sympathy from the people. If I remember rightly, the Duke of Argyll has been very emphatic in pointing out the difference between giving local self-government to a community in which the tendencies of popular feeling are “centrifugal,” and giving it to one in which these tendencies are “centripetal.” The inference to be drawn was, of course, that as long as Ireland disliked the Imperial government the concession of Home Rule would be unsafe, and would only become safe when the Irish people showed somewhat the same sort of affection for the English connection which the people of the State of New York now feel for the Constitution of the United States.
Among the multitude of those who have taken part in the controversy on one side or the other, no one has, so far as I have observed, pointed out that the state of feeling in America toward the central government with which the state of feeling in Ireland towards the British Government is now compared, did not exist when the American Constitution was set up; that the political tendencies in America at that time were