The Land League, or National Land League, was founded in Dublin, Ireland in 1879 by Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt. Spurred by the depression of the 1870's and the fear that it might lead to a recurrence of the poverty and evictions that arose from the Irish Potato Famine, the Land League had as its goals the end of landlordism and transfer of ownership to the tenants.

Though Land League leaders sought to win their goals through peaceful means, chiefly boycotts, many supporters were of the more extremist nature, including members of Clan Na Gael, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and Fenians. Violence against landlords and others who defied the league was common.

The Land League was banned with passage of the Land Act of 1881 and the accompanying Coercion Act. The Land Act was passed under British Prime Minister William Gladstone and satisfied the vast majority of tenants -- addressing the "three F's"; Fixity of tenure, Fair rents and Free sale. This was a significant step toward the end of the landed gentry in Ireland and eventually led to Home Rule.

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Land League.

In Ireland, a combination of tenant farmers and other, organized, with Charles Stewart Parnell as president, in 1879 with a view to the reduction of farm rents and a reconstruction of the land laws. -- Land"*lea`guer (#), n. -- Land"*lea`guism (#), n.

The Land League, of which Machael Davitt was the founder, originated in Mayo in August, and at a Dublin in October the organization was extended to all Ireland, with Parnell as president.
Encyc. Brit.

 

© Webster 1913

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