The enactment of the Legislative Union in 1800 has been followed by almost incessant agitation to obtain its repeal. The desire of the Irish people to recover their right of domestic legislation is as natural as a sick mans desire for restoration to health. Ireland's vital need is Self-Government; the exclusive control and development of her own resources. "Placed," says the late Robert Holmes, "on the western skirt of Europe, with three-fourths of her shores washed by the Atlantic, after the discovery of a new world had opened to European enterprise new objects of adventure and new sources of aggrandisement, Ireland seemed destined to be an important connecting link in the intercourse between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Independent of the discovery of America, and the new field thereby opened for commercial enterprise, the situation of Ireland seemed peculiarly fitted for maritime pre-eminence... Ireland, too, had before her many glorious examples of what free States, very inferior to her in extent of territory and other natural advantages, could achieve by commercial daring. The powers of independent existence seemed to be marked in her structure in such bold characters by nature, that it required the unceasing efforts of an active and malignant policy to defeat the obvious purposes of Creation."