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ERIC Number: EJ911573
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-6173-5102-0
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0584
The Politics of Language and National School Reform: The Gaelic League's Call for an Irish Ireland, 1893-1922
Laukaitis, John
American Educational History Journal, v37 n1 p221-235 2010
With the colonization of Ireland in the 17th century by Cromwellian and Williamite forces, the spread of English as a language of power marked a linguistic shift as Anglicization and economic necessity transformed Irish to a vernacular of the poor. Where Irish was spoken by almost all throughout the country in the 17th century, a steady drop began in the 18th century, and by century's end Irish was the language of 4,000,000 of the total population of 5,200,000 (Gaelic League 1912, 5). When the Gaelic League formed in 1893, Irish was considered a "half-dead" language and primarily spoken in regions known as the Gaeltacht. The Gaeltacht represented the last remnant of a disappearing Irish language in non-contiguous rural areas in Western Ireland. With the rapid decline of the Irish language and the plausible threat that the Gaeltacht, too, would become a part of an Anglicized Ireland, the Gaelic League focused its efforts on a revival of Irish and promoted Irish as a keystone of national identity (Green 1972, 19). Understanding how the Gaelic League advanced Irish as the foundation of cultural solidarity becomes central in understanding how this organization viewed language as a mechanism for national identity. In the first section of this article, the author focuses on the philosophy of the Gaelic League through an analysis of the organization's coalescence of language, race, and national identity to promote an Irish Ireland; and, in the second section, the author focuses on how the Gaelic League viewed the national school system as a catalyst for creating an Irish Ireland. An analysis of the Gaelic League's aims and its efforts in school reform provides a better understanding of the ways in which this organization transformed Irish education in the early 20th century and the ultimate limits of its efforts to create an Irish Ireland through the national school system.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland