BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


The Characters of Theophrastus

Theophrastus


Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


Ireland yesterday and today

by Hugh Sutherland

Excerpt:

Those who properly revere the sacred rights of property need not take alarm at the proposition. It is the sober judgment of the best leaders of thought on the question, and will soon be embodied in the proposals of the British government. They must remember also that the United States does not know any such system of land holding as exists here. It is as foreign to their knowledge as the land laws of China. It is necessary, therefore, to withhold description of actual conditions here until these bases of judgment are established. My first letter sketched briefly the early history of Ireland and showed in outline how the seizures and confiscations, in war and peace, through forms of law and open persecution, resulted in transferring the land by wholesale from the native owners to English adventurers and court favorites. Thus, through the remorseless operation of conquest and greed, the Irish people became a nation of tenant farmers.

In tracing the history of the land question I have talked with many men, among them those who have devoted their lives to the Irish cause. Most of all I am indebted to Mr. T. W. Russell, of Dublin, a member of Parliament. Mr. Russell is a Scotchman, has been in public life for nearly forty years and to-day is one of the greatest figures in the Irish struggle. He has been and is the friend and adviser of the people and of the statesmen as well. There is not a voice in England or Ireland which dare accuse him of wavering a hair's breadth from honesty and sincerity of purpose. He is a student, a thinker and a historian. He has made a lifelong fight for Union as against Home Rule. Furthermore—and this is a greater evidence of impartiality than Americans imagine—he is a stanch Protestant. Upon all counts, therefore, he is a faithful and competent witness for the Irish people. In the succeeding review of the story of the land I take much of my evidence from his "Ireland and the Empire," published within a year, the knowledge so gained being fortified by personal interviews with leaders and by study of the highest authorities.

The political history of the last century will be treated in detail at another time, but these few facts should be borne in mind: Ireland had her own Parliament from 1782 to 1800, and all historians agree that under that rule she enjoyed remarkable prosperity. In 1 800, despite the pleas of the people, the Parliament was abolished and a union with England was forced by that country. Of the nature of this act it is only necessary to quote Gladstone, whose judgment few Americans will doubt. He said:

"I know of no blacker or fouler transaction in the history of man than the making of the Union between England and Ireland."

For one hundred years, therefore, Ireland has been governed absolutely by England. Mr. Russell's estimate is a terrible indictment:

"Seventy of these years stand out a reproach and a disgrace to England. Nothing can well be worse than the record of the English in Ireland during this period. These years have witnessed several attempts at armed rebellion, suppressed, of course, by the superior power of England. They have seen the people, visited by a great famine, rushing from the country as if it were plague stricken—3,841,419 having gone across the ocean in fifty years, In other words, forty-seven per cent, of the population have fled from the country to seek bread under another flag.

"These years have witnessed the reign of secret societies, of agrarian crime and of endless coercion acts. They have been dominated by a land system, which can only be described as systematized and legal robbery of the poor. The governed were, in the main, helots and slaves; the governors were, to a large extent, callous and heartless tyrants. England had, unasked and unbidden, taken over the government of Ireland. Where the duty was not shamefully neglected, it was exercised in the interests of a class alone. Until Mr. Gladstone arose, no subject people had ever been more basely treated or neglected by a conqueror."


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