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It has been argued that Walter Long was the most powerful single voice on Irish affairs in the British government for the critical period from 1916 to 1920. As the leader most committed to a federalist approach to constitutional reform in Ireland, he was a central figure in maintaining a firm stance on Ireland as an integral part of the union and in determining the eventual shape of the union after the First World War.
The debate over internal constitutional change took place at a time when many people were concerned about relations between Great Britain and the self-governing colonies. The issue of Imperial federation was continuously and exhaustively discussed and promoted from the late 1860s through World War I. The waters became so muddied that at times it has been difficult to separate arguments for closer imperial union from proposals for internal decentralization. Kendle comments extensively on this confusion. During the fifty years from the early 1870s to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, politicians and publicists devoted considerable energy and attention to the notions of "home rule all round," "devolution," and "federalism" as possible means of resolving the urgent political, administrative, and constitutional issues confronting the United Kingdom. The increasing complexity of government business, the gathering forces of ethnic nationalism in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and concern with maintaining and strengthening the role of the parliament at Westminister in imperial affairs combined to keep the possibility of decentralization at the forefront of political and public debate. Kendle explores and analyzes the motives and attitudes of participants in this debate and looks at the schemes and proposals that resulted from this power struggle. Ireland and the Federal Solution gives a lucid appraisal of what was meant at the time by the terms "federalism," "home rule all round," and "devolution" and evaluates how firmly the participants grasped the constitutional similarities and differences between existing federal systems.
Originally published in 1960, this book presents a discussion of the relationship between economic theory and economic policy in relation to nineteenth-century Irish history. The text focuses on the period 1816-70 and covers a variety of areas, including the land system, absentee landlords, the poor law, private enterprise, free trade, public works, and emigration. A bibliography is included and detailed notes are incorporated throughout. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in Irish history, British foreign policy and economic theory.