Monday, 25 February 2008


In the wake of the famine, English landlordism reigned supreme in Ireland. In 1879, Michael Davitt founded the Irish national Land League with Charles Stewart Parnell -- a constitutional nationalist -- as its president.

The objects of the Land League were:

1] To put an end to rank-renting, evictions and landlord oppression;

2] To effect such a radical change in the land system as would put it in the power of every Irish farmer to become the owner, in fair terms, of the land he tilled.

In the course of the land war a new word was coined--Boycott--when the land of a Captain Boycott, a rack-renting landlord who refused to accept the fair rents, was shunned by all the people in the surrounding areas.

In 1881, under unrelenting pressure, a land act had guaranteed the three "Fs" as they were known: fair rent, free sale, and fixity of tenure.

The land war changed the face of rural Ireland by putting an end to the old system of landlordism, although British political rule still remained as imperious as ever.


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