May 31, 2017

Paul Gough - Why Ireland Wasn't a Colony

Stephen Howe wrote in his 2008 article, ‘Questioning the (bad) question: ‘Was Ireland a colony?’:
"Might we usefully think of Ulster in certain periods as a Scots colony, or even Wexford as a Welsh one?"
Patrick West of Spiked Magazine wrote in 2014:
"If Scotland becomes independent, it has a moral obligation to take Northern Ireland with it. Ulster is, after all, far more of a Scottish colony than an English one, demographically speaking. From the reign of King James VI of Scotland (who also became James I of England in 1603), Ulster was disproportionately colonised by Scots (many of whom later left for America to become ‘Scotch-Irish’), which explains why Presbyterianism was always a more popular denomination in Ulster than the Church of Ireland. The Scottish legacy is also reflected in efforts in recent decades among Protestants to cement an ‘Ulster-Scots’ culture and language. While you will see the Scottish saltire at Orange Order marches, you won’t see an empty-handed Cross of St George…"
Edward Carson wrote in his 1918 letter to Woodrow Wilson:
"The Nationalist Party have based their claim to American sympathy on the historic appeal addressed to Irishmen by the British colonists who fought for independence in America a hundred and fifty years ago. By no Irishmen was that appeal received with a more lively sympathy than by the Protestants of Ulster, the ancestors of those for whom we speak to-day—a fact that was not surprising in view of the circumstance that more than one-sixth part of the entire colonial population in America at the time of the Declaration of Independence consisted of emigrants from Ulster. 
The Ulstermen of to-day, forming as they do the chief industrial community in Ireland, are as devoted adherents to the cause of democratic freedom as were their forefathers in the eighteenth century."
And here's the echo with William Drennan:
"But the experience of a century of social and economic progress under the legislative Union with Great Britain has convinced them that under no other system of government could more complete liberty be enjoyed by the Irish people."
The letter continued:
"This, however, is not the occasion for a reasoned defence of “Unionist” policy. Our sole purpose in referring to the matter is to show, whatever be the merits of the dispute, that a very substantial volume of Irish opinion is warmly attached to the existing Constitution of the United Kingdom, and regards as wholly unwarranted the theory that our political status affords any sort of parallel to that of the “small nations” oppressed by alien rule, for whose emancipation the Allied democracies are fighting in this war. 
The Irish representation in the Imperial Parliament throws a significant sidelight on this prevalent fiction. Whereas England is only represented by one member for every 75,000 of population, and Scotland by one for every 65,000, Ireland has a member for every 42,000 of her people. With a population below that of Scotland, Ireland has 31 more members in the House of Commons, and 89 more than she could claim on a basis of representation strictly proportionate to population in the United Kingdom. 
Speaking in Dublin on the 1st of July, 1915, the late Mr. John Redmond gave the following description of the present condition of Ireland, which offers a striking contrast to the extravagant declamation that represents that country as downtrodden by a harsh and unsympathetic system of government: 
“To-day,” he said, “the people, broadly speaking, own the soil. To-day the labourers live in decent habitations. To-day there is absolute freedom in local government and local taxation of the country. To-day we have the widest parliamentary and municipal franchise. The congested districts, the scene of some of the most awful horrors of the old famine days, have been transformed. The farms have been enlarged, decent dwellings have been provided, and a new spirit of hope and independence is to-day among the people. In towns legislation has been passed facilitating the housing of the working classes—a piece of legislation far in advance of anything obtained for the town tenants of England. We have a system of old-age pensions in Ireland whereby every old man and woman over seventy is safe from the workhouse and free to spend their last days in comparative comfort.”
Carson also said in 1912:
"These considerations make one more reason for refusing the Colonial analogy which is so ingeniously pressed by such apologists for Home Rule as Mr. Erskine Childers. Mr. Amery analyses the confusion of thought between Home Rule as meaning responsible Government and Home Rule as meaning separate government which underlies the arguments of Liberal Home Rulers. Ireland has Home Rule in the sense of having free representative institutions. She is prevented by geographical and economic conditions from enjoying separate government under the same terms on which the Colonies possess it. As Mr. Amery points out, the United Kingdom is geographically a single island group. No part of Ireland is so inaccessible from the political centre of British power as the remoter parts of the Highlands, while racially no less than physically Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom. Economically also the two countries are bound together in a way which makes a common physical policy absolutely necessary for the welfare of both countries."
Dinesh D’Souza asked:
"Is the wealth of America based on theft? This allegation lies at the heart of modern progressivism, and provides the justification for government seizure and government redistribution, not only within America but also from America to the rest of the world."
Dinesh D’Souza said in his 2014 film ‘America, Imagine a World Without Her’:
"The wealth of America isn’t stolen, it’s created… The ethic of conquest is universal. What’s uniquely American is the alternative, equal rights, self-determination, and wealth creation. If America did not exist, the conquest ethic would dominate the world…The shaming of America is not accidental, it’s part of a strategy… [It is a strategy formulated by the likes of radical leftist Saul Alinsky who was] the godfather in the art of using shame for political shakedown."
Ronnie Hannah wrote:
"Britain’s earliest colonising ventures on both sides of the Atlantic, when plantations were begun – and consolidated – in Ulster and Virginia."
Richard Aldous who teaches history at UCD wrote in the Irish Times:
"Niall Ferguson also highlights the important role the Irish played in the life of the empire. Two-fifths of all British emigrants in the 18th century were Irish. By the end of the 19th century, the Irish constituted 21% of the British-born in Canada and New Zealand, and 27% in Australia. It was migration on this kind of disproportionate scale, along with similar numbers from Scotland, that gave the empire what Ferguson describes as its "enduringly Celtic tinge"." 
Ward Churchill, an American Marxist said:
"The way I’ve always described myself is as an indigenest, okay which is that I take the circumstances situation of indigenous peoples as first priority."
And here I reprint Paul Gough's (scholar of the colonial period) explanation of ‘Why Ireland Wasn't a Colony’:
"You have Ireland down as a colony on your list in the British Empire section. This is incorrect. Ireland was one of the three kingdoms of James I of England, VI of Scotland (the others being England and Scotland — England including Wales at the time). He was king of Ireland, it was part of his realm, not a foreign colony. Ireland has never been a British colony. 
It has been invaded from the island of Great Britain (nearly as many times as people from the island of Ireland have invaded Great Britain. Just ask St. Patrick, a Welshman taken in slavery by the Irish) but it became part of the kingdom. This occured way before the 1800 Act of Union. 
[It is always incorrect to speak of England as the name of the country, since] it is the United Kingdom, or Britain, for short. That's the name of the country and has been since, at the latest, 1707. To say England is to accept this view that England colonised Ireland and Scotland (with Wales you may have a point). In fact a Scots king came to rule England, James the first of England and Sixth of Scotland. So please don't say England did this and England did that. As a scholar of the colonial period, I am sure you are well aware of the disproportionately large amount of the Empire founded by Scots and Irish, especially in India. 
So it was Britain that did things. All of it. Yes people were treated badly in Ireland, but no worse than in any other part of the country. Luddite rioters were shot in mill country in the north of England. Parts of Cheshire had a famine at the same time as the Great Famine. Only difference was the government didn't even bother to send a Trevelyan to withold corn, they just let it run its course."
Victoria Hales wrote in 2010 in an article, 'Britain’s Forgotten Colony?':
"Ireland was for many centuries under the control of the British. The British government had political control, English landlords had economic control, and the Protestants had religious control, which was followed predominantly by English migrants to Ireland. 
Thus Ireland was almost completely dominated by England; in much the same way as England dominated parts of Africa during the nineteenth century. However, the Irish people have always engaged with the British government, rather than just accepting orders from it. For instance, they have always been represented in the House of Commons. This suggests that perhaps Ireland was not a colony in the same way as other colonies such as India. The majority of colonies have no political input at all. The Irish were not necessarily seen as subordinate to the British, for they always had a role in the British government. I believe that Ireland was a British colony due to the almost complete control that the British government had over the country. It was not until 1920 that Ireland would gain any form of autonomy from the British although even that Act, which created Northern Ireland, ensured that a part of Ireland would always remain within the United Kingdom."
Niall Ferguson concluded in his book 'Empire':
"Would New Amsterdam be the New York we know today if the Dutch had not surrendered it to the British in 1664, or might it not resemble more closely Bloemfontein, an authentic survivor of Dutch colonisation."

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