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Henry George and the Crisis of InequalityProgress and Poverty in the Gilded Age$
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Edward O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231120005

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231120005.001.0001

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“Radically and Essentially the Same”

“Radically and Essentially the Same”

Irish American Nationalism and American Labor, 1879–1883

(p.97) 4 “Radically and Essentially the Same”
Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality

Edward T. O’Donnell

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines Henry George's involvement in the Irish nationalist movement during the late nineteenth century. More specifically, it considers how George gained a reputation among Irish Americans as an advocate of the cause of the Irish peasantry. George's foray into Irish American circles happened at a time when the efforts in both America and Ireland to liberate the Emerald Isle from British colonial rule had surged in 1879 and 1880 with the establishment of the Land League movement. It began to take shape in 1879 as a fragile alliance between the two leading factions of Irish nationalism, the moderates known as Home Rulers and the revolutionaries known as Fenians. This chapter analyzes George's relationship with Patrick Ford, one of the key figures of the Irish nationalist movement; George's decision to join the Land League's American branch; and how the working class' participation in the League helped popularize the “land question” within the American labor movement. Finally, it reflects on the collapse of the Land League coalition.

Keywords:   nationalism, Henry George, Irish Americans, peasantry, Land League movement, Home Rulers, Fenians, Patrick Ford, land question, labor movement

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