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The constitutional revolution that never was: democratic radicalism and the Sinn Féin movement

Kissane, Bill (2009) The constitutional revolution that never was: democratic radicalism and the Sinn Féin movement. Radical History Review, 104 . pp. 77-102. ISSN 0163-6545

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Abstract

It has become conventional wisdom that the Irish rejection of British rule between 1916 and 1922 did not involve a rejection of the British system of government, known as the Westminster model. This article challenges that assumption by uncovering a tradition of radical thinking about representative democracy from the radical newspaper and pamphlet literature of the preindependence era. This literature suggests that the crisis of constitutionalism that emerged in Ireland during the First World War was preceded by a pervasive critique of the British system of government, with its roots in a wider crisis of British liberalism. This crisis became more profound in Ireland when the Asquith government accepted partition in principle. The 1922 constitution thus had a radical pedigree obscured by later constitutional scholarship. The final section of the essay discusses why this radical impulse failed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://chnm.gmu.edu/rhr/rhr.htm
Additional Information: © 2009 MARHO: The Radical Historians’ Organization, Inc.
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Sets: Departments > Government
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2009 14:20
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/26489/

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