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The movement only captured the interest of educated people; moreover, it was essentially Protestant. Still, it had an effect on a number of nationalist thinkers as well as men of letters, who drew inspiration from the vision of Ireland as an ancient nation and culture.

But the most important of the various organisations engaged in cultural nationalism was the Gaelic League, which aimed at first to keep Irish alive where it was still spoken, and later to restore Irish as the spoken language of the country. While being the son of a Church of Ireland i. Anglican clergyman, Hyde played a pivotal role in the Gaelic revival.

He was closely associated with Yeats and his circle of Anglo-Irish intellectuals and wished above all to revive Irish as a spoken language, but he also encouraged its use as a literary medium. In other words, the Irish had to stop imitating the English in their language, literature, music, games, dresses and ideas.

Complexity and nationalism

It also outlined his vision of a cultural revival that should be non-sectarian and non-political. Inevitably, the Gaelic League, which he had founded, focused its attention on ancient Irish texts, traditions and history while promoting the Irish language. In doing so, it also promoted a vision M. The League failed, however, in its ultimate goal of making Ireland an Irish-speaking nation; nonetheless, it has continued to promote the language to the present day. The Gaelic League gained support in Irish society as soon as it was created.

It was popular even among some unionists because it was not intended to be a political movement; in addition, the unionists did not see any contradiction between being culturally Irish and still part of the UK. Yet the League did become politicised, particularly when Patrick Pearse got more involved in its activities and edited a newspaper, An Claidheamh Soluis The Sword of Light , launched in March Pearse had studied law but never practised as a barrister; he was first and foremost a language activist convinced of the necessity of cultivating a nationalism inspired by the native language; he was also an educationalist who ran a school in Dublin on Gaelic revivalist lines.

He even became one of the leaders of the Easter Rising25 and was executed by the British as a result. He suggested a dual monarchy for Ireland: Britain and Ireland would have separate parliaments with the king of England also serving as king of Ireland. His movement stressed the need for self-sufficiency in political, economic and cultural affairs and used the language of Gaelic Ireland, which was so popular among contemporary cultural nationalists.

Yet, after the Easter Rising, its importance grew and it came to emerge as the largest political force in Ireland and as the political movement of the republican revolutionaries dedicated to an armed struggle for full independence. Connolly himself embodied Irish republican socialism. He even created the Citizen Army, which was originally designed to protect the strikers during labour troubles but was later to play a significant part in the insurrection, while its founder was executed after being active in that rebellion. The League also became more Catholic. Indeed, by the turn of the century, more and more members of the Catholic hierarchy had come to regard the league as the best buffer against English popular culture, which, they argued, threatened to secularise Irish society and undermine the hegemony of the Church.

It was founded by a teacher called Michael Cusack.


In his youth, Cusack had enjoyed playing English games like cricket and rugby, but he later considered that these games were damaging Irish identity and created the association in an attempt to promote traditional Irish sports such as hurling27 and Gaelic football. The GAA was extremely popular from the beginning and quickly won massive support among the Catholic section of the population.

What is more, members of the radical IRB or Fenians soon infiltrated the association and occupied dominant positions. They reorganised it so as to reinforce its nationalist character, and even though the GAA remained non-violent and non-revolutionary, we should keep in mind that the IRB became a central force in the physical battle to free Ireland after The growing nationalist zeal was stimulated by different factors. A second and even more significant factor was the outbreak of the Boer War34 in Several scholars suggest that many Irish people identified with the Boers in their fight against the might of the British Empire.

Nationalism, Penguin Great Ideas by Rabindranath Tagore | | Booktopia

But collectively, they performed an even more significant political task. The Literary Revival, for its part, convinced many Irish of the need for Ireland to be Gaelic as well as free. They were stimulated by the cultural revival while contributing to it.

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  • To paraphrase Brown, the revolutionary movement which they initiated and which ultimately gave birth to the Irish Free State38 was deeply affected by revivalist ideology and the enthusiasm that it generated. Select Bibliography. KEE R.

    REES R. He then tried to obtain the repeal of the Act of Union which created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in , but without success. His career was ruined by a divorce case and his party split as a result.

    Globalization and Nationalism

    This was a secret society including both Protestants and Catholics pledged to the establishment of an Irish republic, a concept that was to have a great impact on the thinking of later generations of Irish nationalists. They illustrated the mysticism of the Irish and their beliefs in fairies, ghosts and spirits. His popular English versions of the Irish heroic sagas inspired literary revival writers S.

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    Connolly, ed. Because of his interest in Irish mythology and early Irish history, he can be seen as a forerunner of W. All his plays except the last one were performed at the Abbey Theatre, of which he became a director in Great Ideas. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.

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    Notes on Nationalism

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