The Ulster Protestants

Unionist Party and Irish Home Rule:
Andrew Bonar Law and the Irish Home Rule Crisis, 1912-1914

Introduction

IMHO, even though my dissertation was written decades ago, it stands on its merits. It took an epiphany for me to realize that, even though an outstanding Andrew Bonar Law biography has been published; a dissertation which covers much of same period {and from which many articles and a book have resulted (although I do wish he’d spelled my name correctly)}; many articles and {it is quite likely} even more relevant papers have been presented – the fact remains that all of us had access to the same basic material. Therefore, after carefully re-reading my dissertation, and processing it through over forty years of further research and writing, my analysis and conclusions have not changed. After all, writing is about Points of View {POV}[1] and this is my interpretation. One caveat, my mentor, Professor Richard A. Rempel {DPhil}, once noted that my prose occasionally tended towards the turgid end {much embarrassed, he tried to take it back but the bell had been rung[2]}. He also noted that, had we the time {I had a job offer – one of only three openings in my field nationally advertised that year – but it was predicated upon a completed dissertation and a PhD in hand}, we could, and should, trim it by at least one-third with an eye towards publication. I wanted to do that, but the vagaries of teaching at a small institution of higher learning {read: heavy course loads with little support help}, kept the project on the back-burner. Moreover, it was written in the Dark Ages, that is, pre-computer {read: re-typing}.

My thinking now is that any extensive revisions would deprive you of a significant amount of data which I had already distilled into what now follows. Therefore, instead of a rewrite, you have a cleaned up version of the original document: punctuation miscues corrected, misspelled words corrected {BTW, British English is followed}, grammar errors, et al. One significant change is the addition of popular culture materials I have collected over the years. At many of the footnotes, you will find images of items acquired by me from the Nineteenth- and early Twentieth-Century and which pertain to the story. Finally, Chapter I is quite brief. Future chapters are much longer and contain more substantive material. In writing of any kind, the author should: (1) tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em, (2) tell ‘em and (3) tell ‘em what you told ‘em. That is what this chapter is – tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em. It is also what the website is all about. A decade has passed since my retirement, and I’m finally going to put my time to good use. If you wade through everything contained herein, you will see how and why it is structured as it is and why it includes what it does. Frankly, it reminds me of how I, personally, got to where I am today. My Scottish ancestors went to Ulster as part of the Plantation and from there to the American South {1732}. I understood that Calvinist bonds were never as strong or as relevant as Scots-Irish Presbyterianism vis-à-vis New England Puritanism. Like it or not, English of whatever ilk look down upon those who are of lesser standing than they perceive themselves to be. It has {read: breeding as they did and do} been that way in the British Isles for a millennium; why should it be any different over the last four centuries in the Thirteen Colonies/United States?


[1] See Home Page: ‘About the Site’ – Essay 1: ‘My Point of View’.
[2] If you knew or have known Dick, you know that he occasionally spoke the truth before he softened it with kindness. He was truly one of the kindest and hardest working men I have ever known. I was not offended, but I did make an effort to take his advice. My flowery prose was and has been toned down, but I still like the professor who noted, ‘I don’t teach over their heads; I teach where their heads ought to be!’