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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

During the period covered by this article, Ireland, with the exception of north-east Ulster from the nineteenth century, was a predominantly rural and un-industrialized society where the vast majority of the people were dependent upon land for a livelihood, whether they were landed magnates controlling tens of thousands of acres or labourers bordering on destitution. Possession of land was venerated; access to land an economic necessity. By the nineteenth century, landownership had become inextricably entwined with the other great national issues of identity and independence and so nationalism became specifically bound up with the struggle for land. Hardly surprisingly, the ‘land question’ has, therefore, come to dominate much of Irish historiography as historians have sought to examine and explain various confiscations and plantations, agrarian secret societies, the Great Famine, Land War, and Land League and, from the end of the nineteenth century, the social engineering of the Irish Land Commission.

Keywords: Land, landlords, tenants, plantations, Famine, agrarian societies, Land War, Land League, Land Commission

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