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bloodshed, and this acquiesce resulted in the dwindling of his

influence. In spite of the failed constitutional system,

O’Connell remained throughout the nineteenth century a hero

for moderate nationalists, upholding parliamentary reforms,

Jewish emancipation, and the abolition of slavery (Connolly,

1998: 399-400; Ruckenstein & O’Malley, 2003: 304-305).

Also involved in Repeal movements was Young Ireland, a

nationalist group active in the 1840s that was comprised

mainly of middle-class graduates from both Catholic and

Protestant backgrounds. Disappointed by the Liberator’s

retreat and critical of his constitutional methods, Young

Irelanders tackled O’Connell’s sectarian stance, supporting

political separation from England and identifying cultural

activity as the true course of a more ecumenical nationhood.

They founded the


in 1842, which published essays

concerning the Irish language, literature, history, and music,

and advocating political autonomy and cultural revival for a

nonsectarian Ireland (Connolly, 1998: 602-603; Kiberd, 1996:

22; Ruckenstein & O’Malley, 2003: 450). The group’s

principal figure was Thomas Davis. Convinced that it was

essential to reverse the Anglicization of Irish culture, Davis

argued for the revival of the Irish tongue, accentuated Irish

cultural self-reliance, and attempted to foster a nationality

uniting the Irish of all religious persuasions. His influence on

cultural nationalism persisted long after his death in 1845,

providing later leaders of the Celtic Revival with many crucial

ideas (Connolly, 1998: 137; Ruckenstein & O’Malley, 2003:


The most important figure in post-Famine Ireland was

undisputedly Charles Stewart Parnell, who dominated Irish

political landscape in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

The Protestant, Anglo-Irish leader, like the Catholic O’Connell,

pursued a purely constitutional campaign for Home Rule.

Through obstruction tactics in Parliament, he obtained the