Redmond, John Edward

Redmond, John Edward,

1856–1918, Irish nationalist leader. He was elected to Parliament as a Home RuleHome Rule,
in Irish and English history, political slogan adopted by Irish nationalists in the 19th cent. to describe their objective of self-government for Ireland. Origins of the Home Rule Movement
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 member in 1881 at the height of the obstructionist program of Charles ParnellParnell, Charles Stewart
, 1846–91, Irish nationalist leader. Haughty and sensitive, Parnell was only a mediocre orator, but he possessed a marked personal fascination and was a shrewd political and parliamentary tactician.
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. When the Irish nationalist group split as a result of Parnell's involvement in the O'Shea divorce case, Redmond became chief of the pro-Parnell group. On reunion with the majority (1900), he was chosen as chairman of the combined Irish party. He served on various commissions that led to the Wyndham Land Purchase Act of 1903 (see Irish Land QuestionIrish Land Question,
name given in the 19th cent. to the problem of land ownership and agrarian distress in Ireland under British rule. The long-term result of conquest, confiscation, and colonization was the creation of a class of English and Scottish landlords and of an
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) and gradually gained the leadership as well as the chairmanship of the Irish party. When the Liberals came to power in Britain in 1905, Redmond had no choice but to support them even though the policy they then advocated was one of "devolution" or merely administrative Home Rule for Ireland. He gave them particularly strong support in their effort to limit the power of the House of Lords, which strongly opposed Home Rule. Passage of the Parliament Act of 1911, which accomplished this purpose, made feasible the introduction (1912) of the third Home Rule Bill. In the ensuing crisis caused by the militant opposition to the bill in Northern Ireland, Redmond reluctantly gave his support to the Irish Volunteer movement, a military organization raised to counter the threat of the newly formed Ulster Volunteers. When World War I broke out, Home Rule was approved (1914), although suspended until after the war. Redmond turned down a cabinet post in the coalition government of 1915. He had declared Ireland's loyalty to the Allied cause in the war, and the Easter Rebellion of 1916 was a great blow to him. He supported the plan to begin the operation of Home Rule with the temporary exclusion of Ulster, but his power and influence were declining, and at the end of his life he was opposed by the revolutionary Sinn FéinSinn Féin
[Irish,=we, ourselves], Irish nationalist movement. It had its roots in the Irish cultural revival at the end of the 19th cent. and the growing nationalist disenchantment with the constitutional Home Rule movement.
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See biographies by W. B. Wells (1919) and D. Gwynn (1932); study by S. L. Gwynn (1919).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Redmond, John Edward


Born Sept. 1, 1856, in Bally-trent; died Mar. 6, 1918, in London. Irish political figure. Leader from 1900 of the bourgeois Nationalist Party, which sought home rule.

Redmond’s policies reflected the gradual movement to the right of the home-rule leadership, as well as the leadership’s break with the popular masses and its willingness to compromise with the English bourgeoisie. At the beginning of World War I, Redmond agreed to the postponement of the implementation of the bill on home rule, which had been adopted by the English House of Commons in May 1914, until the termination of military operations. Redmond reacted negatively to the Irish Uprising of 1916.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.