There is now an extensive literature on agrarian protest and unrest in Ireland from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, ranging from studies of secret societies to large-scale organisations such as the Land League. There has not, however, been any detailed published account of the dynamics and character of a most extensive and significant Irish agitation, the United Irish League, which was launched in January 1898. A study of this body is important, not only in its own terms, but for the light it throws on the nature of Irish agrarian agitation generally, especially as there exist more extant records than for earlier examples. By early 1900 this organisation had spread across most of Ireland, and it was to have major implications for the future course of Irish nationalism. Its methods were partly a consequence of a cumulative experience from the past, focused particularly on its immediate predecessors, the Land League of 1879–82, the subsequent Irish National League, and the Plan of Campaign in the latter half of the 1880s. Its political and agrarian purposes were to an unusual degree clearly articulated, thereby enabling a more precise analysis of the way in which particular methods of protest were related to objectives.