‘Ourselves alone’: Repeal, 1840–45

Christine Kinealy

in Repeal and Revolution

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780719065163
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702963 | DOI:
‘Ourselves alone’: Repeal, 1840–45

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This chapter begins with a brief look at Daniel O'Connell, the man who was inextricably linked with the nationalist movement in the early decades of the nineteenth century. It examines the key issues that shaped the policies of the Repeal Association after 1840, in particular the emergence of a dynamic group of writers who founded the Nation newspaper. The Nation embodied a new type of cultural nationalism that had its roots both in European romantic nationalism and in the political debates that accompanied the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, and the 1798 uprising in Ireland. Despite the tradition of physical force, the Nation and its supporters were firmly committed to achieving independence though the constitutional methods advocated by Daniel O'Connell. The emergence of Young Ireland added a fresh dynamism to the Repeal movement, but its energy, popularity, and strict code of behaviour brought it into conflict with O'Connell and his favourite son, John. These differences became more pronounced following O'Connell's retreat at Clontarf in 1843. The seeds, therefore, were sown for a battle, not with the British government, but between the two main sections of the Repeal movement. At the same time, the revival of a nationalist movement that was confident, organized, highly visible, and increasingly Catholic, alarmed a number of Protestants and, while Young Ireland actively sought to win Protestant recruits, a new form of militant loyalism was emerging simultaneously.

Keywords: Daniel O'Connell; nationalist movement; Repeal Association; Nation; cultural nationalism; Young Ireland

Chapter.  17406 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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