Arguing that social movements can be explained and understood only in a comparative historical perspective and not in terms of immediate social or political conditions, the author identifies the causes of the Land War in the evolution of social structure and collective action in the Irish countryside over the course of the nineteenth century. Originally published in 1979. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.