Davitt, Michael (dăvˈĭt) [key], 1846–1906, Irish revolutionary and land reformer. He joined the Fenian movement in 1865 and was imprisoned three times by the English for his revolutionary activities. Davitt and Charles Stewart Parnell were the leading figures in the organization of the National Land League in 1879 (see Irish Land Question). Influenced by the theories of Henry George, Davitt broke with Parnell over the question of land nationalization. But he remained an important Irish leader and was instrumental in bringing the Parnell and anti-Parnell factions together in the United Irish League (1898).
See his The Fall of Feudalism in Ireland (1904); study by T. W. Moody, Davitt and Irish Revolution, 1846–1882 (1981).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies