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Land questions in modern Ireland$
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Fergus Campbell and Tony Varley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078804

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078804.001.0001

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The politics of ‘holding the balance’: Irish farmers’ parties and land redistribution in the twentieth century

The politics of ‘holding the balance’: Irish farmers’ parties and land redistribution in the twentieth century

Chapter:
(p.238) 11 The politics of ‘holding the balance’: Irish farmers’ parties and land redistribution in the twentieth century
Source:
Land questions in modern Ireland
Author(s):

Tony Varley

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719078804.003.0011

To the extent that land redistribution contributes to large and small farmers seeing themselves as different classes with divergent economic interests, its effects may be highly incapacitating politically, especially if it hinders farmers in constituting themselves as a single political class capable of becoming a coherent force in competitive party politics. Against this backdrop this chapter examines the question of how land redistribution was handled by three farmers’ parties intent on attracting all-farmer support in twentieth-century Ireland. How well each of these parties succeeded in holding a class balance that would simultaneously safeguard security of tenure while tolerating moderate land redistribution is assessed. The degree to which land redistribution contributed to the demise of the three farmers’ parties in question is also considered.

Keywords:   Farmers’ parties and land redistribution, Land redistribution and agrarian class alliances, The Farmers’ Party (1922–32), The National Centre Party (1933–3), Clann na Talmhan (Family of the Land) (1938/9–1965)

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