Competing forms of cooperation? Land League, Land War and cooperation in Ireland, 1879 to 1914

Eoin McLaughlin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Two distinct forms of cooperation emerged in response to structural changes in the agricultural sector of the Irish economy in the late nineteenth century: the Land League and the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS). This article argues that the Land League fostered cooperation among tenants and agitated for government intervention to reduce rents and transfer landownership from landlords to tenants, whereas the IAOS encouraged the imitation of continental forms of cooperative agricultural enterprise. This article analyses the relationship between both forms of cooperation and finds that the Land League and subsequent Land War did not hinder the adoption of cooperation enterprise and were instead complementary to cooperative organization. However, the article argues that the IAOS cooperatives were ideologically motivated and misguided and that cooperative enterprises introduced offered no institutional advantages compared to incumbent institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-112
Number of pages32
JournalAgricultural History Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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