The Open UniversitySkip to content

‘A Platform Upon Which All Could Unite?: Temperance in Ulster and the Irish Temperance League, 1858-1914'

Campbell, Orfhlaith (2017). ‘A Platform Upon Which All Could Unite?: Temperance in Ulster and the Irish Temperance League, 1858-1914'. PhD thesis The Open University.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (5MB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This research looks at the Irish temperance movement in Ulster between 1858-1914. It focuses on the organisation, the Irish Temperance League that was formed in Belfast in 1858. The League’s fundamental aim was to provide a platform upon which all total abstinence reformers in Ireland could unite. This research considers how successful the organisation was in its aspiration. It argues that while the League was successful in unifying the temperance movement in Ireland, there were limitations and issues within this agenda. The League successfully incorporated a dual methodology, encompassing both moral suasion and legislative prohibition, which had not been seen before in the Irish temperance movement. This enabled a range of different temperance reformers to work together under the auspice of the ITL. In particular the League was successful in uniting both religious and secular temperance reformers. The breadth of the League’s work also meant that it united individuals from all classes in society under its organisation. That being said, despite the League’s rhetoric contemporary social structures were maintained. For the members of the ITL, total abstinence was their political and religious dogma which superseded contemporary political and religious concerns. However this ultimately caused tension within denominational and political peers. The League aimed to function as a national organisation and it attempted to become an all-Ireland body, providing an inclusive teetotal culture for its members where they were safe from the temptations of the intemperate society around them. This research shows that while the League could claim an all-Ireland status by 1912 it continued to struggle to overcome its Protestant and Ulster roots and become an inclusive organisation in terms of religious affiliations. However against a backdrop of political tension in Ireland this was not the League’s fault but a consequence of the religious divide.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: 2016 The Author
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Item ID: 48914
Depositing User: Orfhlaith Campbell
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 14:49
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 14:27
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU