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England's Disgrace

England's Disgrace: J.S. Mill and the Irish Question

Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    England's Disgrace
    Book Description:

    Bruce L. Kinzer provides the first comprehensive investigation of J.S. Mill?s multifaceted engagement with the Irish question, the fundamental issues inherent in British-Irish politics.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7448-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-7)

    John Stuart Mill never travelled to Ireland; his words did. The genres through which he imparted the words that had a direct bearing on the Irish question were diverse: periodical and newspaper journalism, chapters in thePrinciples of Political Economy, a pamphlet, and parliamentary speeches. Ultimately some of these words had a telling effect, if not invariably in the way Mill had intended. Although not all of what he said on the subject of Ireland merited the close attention of his contemporaries, a portion of that output was very striking and noteworthy. It remains so to this day. The fact...

  5. I Mill and Ireland in the Age of OʹConnell
    (pp. 8-43)

    For J.S. Mill the Irish question in the 1820s and 1830s was political in nature. As a journalist and strategist in the service of Philosophic Radicalism, Mill saw himself as a political player in his own right, though he could not at this time hope to obtain a seat in the House of Commons owing to his employment by the East India Company (which is not to say that such a hope on his part would have been reasonable had he not been so employed).¹ What he said about Ireland during this period suggests that he did not find the...

  6. II The Famine
    (pp. 44-86)

    Between 5 October 1846 and 7 January 1847 theMorning Chroniclecarried forty-three leading articles on ʹIrish affairsʹ (so Mill refers to them in his own bibliography) written by J.S. Mill.¹ Among Millʹs voluminous newspaper writings there is nothing quite like the series prompted by the famine in Ireland. Suspending his work on thePrinciples of Political Economy, Mill spent upwards of 50,000 words over a period of three months in an endeavour to persuade the public and the politicians to support and adopt the policy for Ireland he deemed essential. The manner of the writing is no less notable...

  7. III Ireland and the Principles of Political Economy, 1848–1865
    (pp. 87-119)

    The history of Millʹs association with the Irish question from 1848 to 1865 largely concerns changes he made in thePrinciples of Political Economy, which went through six editions during this period. The sections of this massive treatise dealing with the problem of Irish land underwent significant revision through these editions, and a sustained textual and contextual analysis can uncover much about Millʹs changing disposition on the subject. ThePrinciples, together with a brief discussion of Irelandʹs relation to England inConsiderations on Representative Government, supplies most of the direct evidence we have for his views on the Irish question...

  8. IV The Irish University Question
    (pp. 120-163)

    Millʹs election to Parliament as Member for Westminster in July 1865 moved him to the centre of the nationʹs affairs. A group of electors acting in the Radical interest had invited him to stand. The sense of public duty that led him to accept also directed him to stipulate that he would neither spend money nor canvass in his own cause.¹ Enough Westminster electors admired Englandʹs most distinguished liberal intellectual and public moralist to assure his return. Irish issues did not figure prominently at the 1865 general election and Millʹs speeches to the electors (and non-electors) of Westminster did not...

  9. V The Fenian Challenge and Irish Land
    (pp. 164-211)

    During Millʹs parliamentary years the Irish land question became a serious political issue. Legislation providing for a modification of Irish land law was presented to Parliament and discussion in both England and Ireland reflected the topicʹs heightened political visibility.¹ With Mill himself the issue carried great force. Few non-Irish members of the House of Commons had given more thought to the subject before 1865 than had Mill. When he entered Parliament the threat of Irish revolt looked credible. Millʹs engagement with the land question in the several years after 1865 both absorbed and transcended the concerns with distributive justice and...

  10. Epilogue
    (pp. 212-216)

    The economic experience of Ireland during the 1870s featured notable highs and lows, the latter of which would have a momentous impact on Irish politics and society. Agriculture fared reasonably well during the better part of the decade, the nominal value of output reaching a peak in 1876.¹ In the late 1870s, however, the Irish economy went into a tailspin. Poor weather in 1877 resulted in a dismal harvest, and conditions improved only moderately in 1878. The exceptionally cold and wet summer of 1879 greatly reduced agricultural yields. The impact on both the tillage and pastoral sides of the economy...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 217-260)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 261-274)
  13. Index
    (pp. 275-292)