Home Rule from a Transnational Perspective: The Irish Parliamentary Party and the United Irish League of America, 1901-1918
by Tony King
Tony King’s book is a welcome contribution to a tangled transatlantic tale. King skillfully weaves the Irish diaspora, Irish politics, and Irish-American nationalism into a compelling narrative of transatlantic connections and disjunctions. The United Irish League of America may have been overtaken by events, but as King shows, its true meaning rested in how it defined the parameters of Irish political aspirations during a volatile time of global upheaval.
Dr Patrick Griffin
Madden-Hennebry Professor of History; Director, Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
University of Notre Dame
The original angle of this meticulous study makes a significant contribution to research on John Redmond and Irish American politics. Drawing on extensive private correspondence and contemporary publications, including a little known body of United Irish League of America (UILA) publications, the author provides insights into the ideology and transatlantic operations of the organisation. The wider significance of the study lies in its contextualisation, its consideration of the UILA’s rivals and critics. It also sheds light on Irish American perceptions of and reactions to political, social and cultural developments in Ireland. The analysis of perspectives on US involvement in international events, filtered through the lens of Irish American Anglo-phobia, is of considerable interest.
This is a timely publication in light of the current focus in Ireland on the Decade of Centenaries (1913-1923). It is a welcome contribution to the historiography of Redmond and Home Rule, a field attracting increasing interest after many years of neglect. It will appeal to readers interested in Irish history; Irish American history; Irish Studies; diaspora studies; and transnational studies.
Critics may find King’s judgment on Redmond harsh in light of his challenges and may question the counterfactual comments; however, the author provides compelling arguments, justifiably drawing attention to Irish republicans’ more effective transatlantic operations.
Dr Mary N. Harris
School of Humanities
National University of Ireland, Galway
When John Redmond declared ‘No Irishman in America living 3,000 miles away from the homeland ought to think he has a right to dictate to Ireland’ the Irish leader unwittingly made a rod for his own back. In denying the newly-established United Irish League of America any input into party policy formulation, Redmond risked alienating the nation’s largest diaspora should a home rule crisis ever occur. That such a situation developed in 1914 is an established fact. That it was the product of Redmond’s own naivety is open to conjecture. ‘Home Rule from a Transnational Perspective: The Irish Parliamentary Party and the United Irish League of America, 1901-1918’ explores the Irish Party’s subordination of its American affiliate in light of the ultimate demise of constitutional nationalism in Ireland.
This book fills a void in Irish American studies. To date, research in this field has been dominated by Clan na Gael and the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, particularly the transatlantic links that underpinned the Easter Rising in 1916. Little attention has been paid to the Irish party’s efforts to manage the diaspora in the years preceding the insurrection or to the individuals and organisations that proffered a more moderate solution to the age-old Irish Question. Breaking new ground, it offers a fresh and interesting perspective on the fall of the Home Rule Party and helps to explain the seismic shift towards a more radical approach to gaining independence.
This book is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish America, diaspora studies, Irish independence, and/or home rule. It complements the existing historiography and enhances our knowledge of a largely understudied aspect of Irish nationalism.
The Open University
Constitutional nationalism and Irish America, 1879-1900
The United Irish League of America, 1901-03
Transatlantic realism, 1904-07
Redmond’s masterful leadership, 1908-11
Mounting anxiety, 1912-14
The long divorce, 1914-18
Tony King is a graduate of the National University of Ireland and was awarded a Ph.D. in History in 2019. A military veteran with extensive overseas experience, he has served multiple tours of duty in Lebanon and Bosnia with the United Nations and NATO. Happy to combine the national with the global Tony’s research interests are wide and varied as he seeks to situate pre-independent Ireland on the world stage. ‘Home Rule from a Transnational Perspective: The Irish Parliamentary Party and the United Irish League of America, 1901-1918’ is his first such venture, and he is currently working on a new project identifying Irish American influence on US foreign policy.
Transnationalism, Anglo-Irish history, Home Rule, The Irish Parliamentary Party, The United Irish League of America