3. James Connolly

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James Connolly and the ISRP

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3. James Connolly

  1. 1. HHIS403 - Political & Social Movements in TwentiethCentury Ireland The Irish Labour Movement, 1889 – 1924   Lecture Three: James Connolly and the Irish Socialist Republican Party, 1896-1904
  2. 2. JAMES CONNOLLY: 1868-1916
  3. 3. 1868 – Born, Cowgate, Edinburgh
  4. 4. 1868 – Born, Cowgate, Edinburgh 1882 – Enlists in the first battallion King’s Liverpool Regiment – served [possibly] in India, and Ireland 1890 – Perth, Scotland: marries Lillie Reynolds from Wicklow. They settle in Edinburgh.
  5. 5. 1868 – Born, Cowgate, Edinburgh 1882 – Enlists in the first battallion King’s Liverpool Regiment – served [possibly] in India, and Ireland 1890 – Perth, Scotland: marries Lillie Reynolds from Wicklow. They settle in Edinburgh. 1889/1890 – rise of “New” Unionism 1889 – Connolly joins the Socialist League in Dundee.
  6. 6. 1868 – Born, Cowgate, Edinburgh 1882 – Enlists in the first battallion King’s Liverpool Regiment – served [possibly] in India, and Ireland 1890 – Perth, Scotland: marries Lillie Reynolds from Wicklow. They settle in Edinburgh. 1889/1890 – rise of “New” Unionism 1889 – Connolly joins the Socialist League in Dundee. 1890 – Union organiser among his fellow carters in Edinburgh
  7. 7. 1868 – Born, Cowgate, Edinburgh 1882 – Enlists in the first battallion King’s Liverpool Regiment – served [possibly] in India, and Ireland 1890 – Perth, Scotland: marries Lillie Reynolds from Wicklow. They settle in Edinburgh. 1889/1890 – rise of “New” Unionism 1889 – Connolly joins the Socialist League in Dundee. 1890 – Union organiser among his fellow carters in Edinburgh Late 1880s/early 1890s – comes into contact with John Leslie, founder of the Scottish Socialist Federation and author of the pamphlet, The Present Position of the Irish Question (1894)
  8. 8. John Leslie, The Irish Question (1894)
  9. 9. “Remember this—that somewhere and somehow, and by somebody, a beginning must be made. Who strikes the first blow for Ireland? Who draws first blood for Ireland? Who wins a wreath that will be green forever?” Irish Felon, 1849
  10. 10. 1892 – succeeds his brother as secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation 1893 – Joins James Kier Hardie’s party, the Independent Labour Party (ILP)
  11. 11. 1892 – succeeds his brother as secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation 1893 – Joins James Kier Hardie’s party, the Independent Labour Party (ILP)
  12. 12. 1892/93 – begins writing for Hardie’s newspaper Justice December 1895– an appeal by John Leslie in the pages of Justice led to the offer of employment in Dublin as organiser for the Dublin Socialist Club, at £1 per week.
  13. 13. May 1896 – The Dublin Socialist Club is disbanded and Connolly moves to establish, along with his colleagues, the Irish Socialist Republican Party
  14. 14. 1901 – Connolly elected delegate to the Dublin Trades Council, representing the United Labourers’ Union (new union established c.1890) -Dispute with other members of the ISRP after money raised for a new newspaper was spent on a drinking club Sept 1902 to Jan 1903 – Speaking tour of the U.S. on invitation of Socialist Labour Party of Ameica and Daniel DeLeon - On his return, more rows over the use/abuse of funds led to the disbandment of the ISRP September 1903 – returns to the U.S. - family soon follow 1903-1910 – worked as an insurance salesman and collector in Troy, New York. Active within the SLP. Dispute with DeLeon over analysis/tactics/strategy - the ‘Iron law of wages’ – wage increases lead to higer prices - the question of marriage - position of socialism with regard to religion (private matters to Connolly)
  15. 15. 1905 – joins the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) – recruits members mainly among Irish and Italian workers in New York 1907 – establishes the Irish Socialist Federation 1910 – publication of Labour in Irish History - Connolly returns to Ireland to work full-time for the ITGWU in Belfast
  16. 16. 1912 – proposes a motion at the Trade Union Congress in Clonmel, the establishment of a national Labour Party. Congress changes its name to the Irish Trade Union Congress and Labour Party August 1913 – moves to Dublin to assist Larkin in the Lockout November 1913 – establishes with Jack White a workers’ defence force, the Irish Citizen Army
  17. 17. March 1914 – ITGWU voices opposition to plans to partition Ireland under future Home Rule deal
  18. 18. January 1916 – approached by IRB. Plans for rising. April 1916 – Easter Rising. Connolly wounded during the fighting. - 12 May 1916 – Executed by firing squad.
  19. 19. 29 May 1896 – Dublin Socialist Society reconstituted as the Irish Socialist Republican Party at a meeting in Pierce Ryan’s Pub, Thomas Street, Dublin. 7 June 1896 – official launch of the party, public meeting at the Custom House, Dublin PARTY OBJECTIVE: “Establishment of an Irish Socialist Republic besed upon the public ownership by the Irish People of the land and instruments of production, distribution and exchange. Agriculture to be administered as a public function, under boards of management elected by the agricultural population and responsible to them and to the nation at large. All other forms of labour necessary to the well-being of the community to be conducted on the same principles.”
  20. 20. PROGRAMME 1.Nationalisation of railways and canals 2.Abolition of private banks and money-lending institutions and establishment of state banks, under popularly elected boards of directors, issuing loans at cost 3.Establishment at public expense of rural depots for the most improved agricultural machinery, to be lent out to the agricultural population at a rent covering cost and management alone. 4.Graduated income tax on all incomes over £400 per annum in order to provide funds for pensions to the aged, infirm and widows and orphans. 5.Legislative restriction of hours of labour to 48 per week and establishment of a minimum wage. 6.Free maintenance for all children. 7.Gradual extension of the principle of public ownership and supply to all the necessaries of life. 8.Public control and management of national schools by boards elected by popular ballot for that purpose alone. 9.Free education up to the highest university grades. 10.Universal suffrage.
  21. 21. PROGRAMME That the agricultural and industrial system of a free people, like their political system, ought to be an accurate reflex of the democratic principle by the people for the people, solely in the interests of the people. That the private ownership, by a class, of the land and instruments of production, distribution and exchange, is opposed to this vital principle of justice, and is the fundamental basis of all oppression, national, political and social. That the subjection of one nation to another, as of Ireland to the authority of the British Crown, is a barrier to the free political and economicc development of the subjected nation, and can only serve the interests of the exploiting classes of both nations. That, therefore, the national and economic freedom of the Irish people must be sought in the same direction, viz., the establishment of an Irish Socialist Republic, and the consequent conversion of the means of production, distribution and exchange into the common property of society, to be held and controlled by a democratic state in the interests of the entire community. That the conquest by the social democracy of political power in Parliament, and on all public bodies in Ireland, is the readiest and most effective means whereby the revolutionary forces may be organised and disciplined to attain that end.
  22. 22. Friends! On 15th January, the Municipal elections will take place and you are asked to consider for whom to cast your vote. But, before your reach your decision we, Jewish Social Democrats, wish to say a few words. There are three candidates on the list for the Wood Quay Ward: you have here a Home Ruler, another a publican, and one labour candidate of the Irish Socialist Republican Party, James Connolly, who is supported by the Dublin United Labourers Union. For which of the candidates will you vote on 15th January? For the Home Ruler, the candidate of the bourgeoise? No, you cannot and you ought not do that! It is the bourgeoise which always has the bag of gold before its eyes. Everything that stands in its way, everything that does not agree with its gut interests it tramples underfoot no matter how sacred that may be. It is the bourgeoise that arouses race hatered, incites one people against another and casuses war. The bourgeoisie is the cause of Anti – Semitism; with its press it provokes hatered of the Jew and seeks to throw the blame for everything upon the Jew in order to deceive the people and conceal its sins against its own people. No, you cannot vote for the Home Ruler, the candidate of the bourgeoisie! The Home Rulers speak out against the English capitalists and the English landlords because they want to seize their places so that they themselves can oppress and exploit the people. No mater how nicely and well the Home Rulers talk or how much as friends of man they seek to appear or how much they shout about oppressed Ireland – they are capitalists. In their own homes they can show their true colours and cast off their revolutionary democratic disguise and torment and choke the poor as much as they can. And you, Jews, what assurance do you have that one fine day they will not turn on you?

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