Monday, December 4th, 2017...5:31 pmPeter

The Dyer Bill and the First Irish Home Rule Bill—A Comparison of Legislation

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In order to justify the conjoined study of the Harlem Renaissance and the Celtic Revival, I have constructed an anthology that compares two different legislations, the Dyer Bill and the First Home Rule Bill of Ireland.  There are strikingly similar histories between both of these bills: Both were intended to protect freedom and rights, both were never passed, both were aimed to aid disadvantaged social groups, and both were intended to reduce prejudice.  However, it was prejudice that precisely prevented these bills from being passed.  Given that American state laws had been insufficient at preventing lynching, the Dyer Bill aimed to make lynching illegal at the federal level.  The main reason the bill was not passed was because many politicians felt that it would invade upon the autonomy of the state.  The First Home Rule Bill would have given freedom to the Irish from Great Britain so that they could be an independent nation.   However, this was fiercely resisted primarily because, given the amount of Catholics, a free Ireland would purportedly be tantamount to “Rome Rule.”  The Dyer Bill and Home Rule Bill were resisted primarily due to racial and religious prejudice, respectively.  I intend to prove the similarities between both bills in my comparison, demonstrating transnationally the similarities between the Harlem Renaissance and Celtic Revival through the prejudice of their legislative contexts.  Further, the inclusion of literary responses within both movements will qualitatively demonstrate how prevailing authors felt about the social problems the bills sought to address.

THESIS: Similarities between the Harlem Renaissance and the Celtic Revival can be found in their contemporary legislations, primarily through the Dyer Bill and First Irish Home Rule Bill.  Both legislatures manifested similar tactics and forms of prejudice.

QUESTION: How much can laws affect the mindset or actions of a people?  Of what power do laws have to change a zeitgeist?



1 Comment

  •   Professor Seiler
    December 8th, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Peter–good, specific focus here, as we’ve discussed. Now, where you add a “purportedly” in your discussion of the reasons some Irish people resisted the HRB, you can also bring the proverbial grain of salt to your assertion that the states’ rights argument sank the DB.

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