The historical importance of the Irish National Land League lies primarily in its contribution to the politicization of Irish agrarian society. During the years 1879-82 the Land League conducted a tenant right campaign embracing virtually every county in the south and west of Ireland, and an extensive portion of the midlands as well. In these areas it organized an impressive network of local branches, which drew large numbers of farmers into political activity. The movement was not, however, organized by farmers alone. The central direction of the agitation was assumed by a contingent of Irish nationalists, while local leadership was provided, in large measure, by a discontented segment of the town population. Townsmen were numerically well represented in the Land League, they played an instrumental role in initiating the agitation, and they continued, once league branches had become established, to help organize meetings and enforce the league’s authority in local land disputes. Hence, though the Land League was principally a farmers’ organization, and though, in the end, it served to politicize Irish farmers, it was the the product of an alliance between two distinguishable social groups.