Irish Home Rule movement
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The Irish Home Rule movement was a movement that campaigned for
self-government __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation without intervention from an external authority (sociology), authority. It may refer to personal co ...
(or "home rule") for Ireland within the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state in the British Isles that existed between 1801 and 1922, when it included all of Ireland. It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the Kingdom of Great B ...
. It was the dominant political movement of
Irish nationalism Irish nationalism is a nationalist political movement which, in its broadest sense, asserts that the people of Ireland should govern Ireland as a sovereign state. Since the mid-19th century, Irish nationalism has largely taken the form of cu ...
from 1870 to the end of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
.
Isaac Butt Isaac Butt (6 September 1813 – 5 May 1879) was an Irish barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks inclu ...
founded the Home Government Association in 1870. This was succeeded in 1873 by the Home Rule League, and in 1882 by the
Irish Parliamentary Party The Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP; commonly called the Irish Party or the Home Rule Party) was formed in 1874 by Isaac Butt, the leader of the Nationalist Party (Ireland), Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliament ...
. These organisations campaigned for home rule in the
British House of Commons The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster in London, England. The House of Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 mem ...
. Under the leadership of
Charles Stewart Parnell Charles Stewart Parnell (27 June 1846 – 6 October 1891) was an Irish nationalist politician who served as a Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) from 1875 to 1891, also acting as Leader of the Home Rule League fr ...
, the movement came close to success when the Liberal government of
William Ewart Gladstone William Ewart Gladstone ( ; 29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British statesman and Liberal Party (UK), Liberal politician. In a career lasting over 60 years, he served for 12 years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, spread ...
introduced the First Home Rule Bill in 1886, but the bill was defeated in the House of Commons after a split in the Liberal Party. After Parnell's death, Gladstone introduced the Second Home Rule Bill in 1893; it passed the Commons but was defeated in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the Bicameralism, upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by Life peer, appointment, Hereditary peer, heredity or Lords Spiritual, official function. Like the ...
. After the removal of the Lords' veto in 1911, the Third Home Rule Bill was introduced in 1912, leading to the
Home Rule Crisis The Home Rule Crisis was a political and military crisis in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that followed the introduction of the Government of Ireland Act 1914, Third Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom ...
. Shortly after the outbreak of World War I it was enacted, but implementation was suspended until the conclusion of the war. Following the
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed Rebellion, insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916. The Rising was launched by Irish republicanism, Irish republicans against Br ...
of 1916, particularly the arrests and executions that followed it, public support shifted from the Home Rule movement to the more radical Sinn Féin party. In the 1918 General Election the Irish Parliamentary Party suffered a crushing defeat with only a handful of MPs surviving, effectively dealing a death blow to the Home Rule movement. The elected Sinn Féin MPs were not content merely with home rule within the framework of the United Kingdom; they instead set up a revolutionary legislature, Dáil Éireann, and declared Ireland an independent republic. Britain passed a Fourth Home Rule Bill, the
Government of Ireland Act 1920 The Government of Ireland Act 1920 (10 & 11 Geo. 5 c. 67) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislativ ...
, aimed at creating separate parliaments for
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is #Descriptions, variously described as ...
and Southern Ireland. The former was established in 1921, and the territory continues to this day as part of the United Kingdom, but the latter never functioned. Following the
Anglo-Irish Treaty The 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty ( ga , An Conradh Angla-Éireannach), commonly known in Ireland as The Treaty and officially the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland, was an agreement between the government of the ...
that ended the
Anglo-Irish War The Irish War of Independence () or Anglo-Irish War was a guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army (1919–1922), Irish Republican Army (IRA, the army of the Irish Republic) and United Kingdom of Gre ...
, twenty-six of Ireland's thirty-two
counties A county is a geographic region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
became, in December 1922, the
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a State (polity), state established in December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. The treaty ended the three-year Irish War of Independ ...
, a
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within the
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which later evolved into the present
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland (), is a country in north-western Europe consisting of 26 of the 32 Counties of Ireland, counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, on the eastern ...
.


Historical background

Under the
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, the separate Kingdoms of
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
and
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were merged on 1 January 1801 to form the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state in the British Isles that existed between 1801 and 1922, when it included all of Ireland. It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the Kingdom of Great B ...
. Throughout the 19th century, Irish opposition to the Union was strong, occasionally erupting in violent insurrection. In the 1830s and 1840s, attempts had been made under the leadership of
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell (I) ( ga, Dónall Ó Conaill; 6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), hailed in his time as The Liberator, was the acknowledged political leader of Ireland's Roman Catholic majority in the first half of the 19th century. His mobilizat ...
and his
Repeal Association The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell in 1830 to campaign for a repeal of the Acts of Union 1800, Acts of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland. The Association's aim was to r ...
to repeal the Act of Union and restore the
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, without breaking the monarchical connection with
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(i.e.,
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). The movement collapsed when O'Connell called off a meeting at
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, which had been banned by the authorities. Until the 1870s, most Irish voters elected members of the main British political parties, the Liberals and the
Conservatives Conservatism is a Philosophy of culture, cultural, Social philosophy, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in r ...
, as their
Members of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative in parliament of the people who live in their electoral district. In many countries with Bicameralism, bicameral parliaments, this term refers only to members of the lower house since upper house ...
(MPs). The Conservatives, for example, won a majority in the 1859 general election in Ireland. Conservatives and (after 1886)
Liberal Unionists The Liberal Unionist Party was a British political party that was formed in 1886 by a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party (UK), Liberal Party. Led by Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire, Lord Hartington (later the Duke of Devonsh ...
fiercely resisted any dilution of the Act of Union, and in 1891 formed the
Irish Unionist Alliance The Irish Unionist Alliance (IUA), also known as the Irish Unionist Party, Irish Unionists or simply the Unionists, was a unionist political party founded in Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an i ...
to oppose home rule.


Different concepts

The term "Home Rule" (), first used in the 1860s, meant an Irish legislature with responsibility for domestic affairs. It was variously interpreted, from the 1870s was seen to be part of a federal system for the United Kingdom: a domestic Parliament for Ireland while the Imperial Parliament at
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many Tourism in London, visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of W ...
would continue to have responsibility for Imperial affairs. The Republican concept as represented by the
Fenian The word ''Fenian'' () served as an umbrella term for the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and their affiliate in the United States, the Fenian Brotherhood, secret political organisations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries dedicate ...
s and the
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a Secret society, secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the ...
, strove to achieve total separation from Great Britain, if necessary by physical force, and complete autonomy for Ireland. For a while they were prepared to co-operate with Home Rulers under the "New Departure". In 1875
John O'Connor Power John O'Connor Power (13 February 1846 – 21 February 1919) was an Irish people, Irish Irish Republican Brotherhood, Fenian and a Home Rule League and Irish Parliamentary Party politician and as Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), MP in the ...
told a New York audience that " relandhas elected a body of representatives whose mission is simply – I almost said solely – but certainly whose mission is particularly to offer unrelenting hostility to every British Ministry while one link of the imperial chain remains to fetter the constitutional freedom of the Irish nation."
Charles Stewart Parnell Charles Stewart Parnell (27 June 1846 – 6 October 1891) was an Irish nationalist politician who served as a Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) from 1875 to 1891, also acting as Leader of the Home Rule League fr ...
sought through the "constitutional movement", as an interim measure a parliament in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. On a bay at the mouth of the River Liffey, it is in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster, bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of th ...
with limited legislative powers. For Unionists, Home Rule meant a Dublin parliament dominated by the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
to the detriment of Ireland's economic progress, a threat to their cultural identity as both British and Irish and possible discrimination against them as a religious minority. In England the Liberal Party under
William Ewart Gladstone William Ewart Gladstone ( ; 29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British statesman and Liberal Party (UK), Liberal politician. In a career lasting over 60 years, he served for 12 years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, spread ...
was fully committed to introducing Home Rule whereas the
Conservatives Conservatism is a Philosophy of culture, cultural, Social philosophy, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in r ...
tried to alleviate any need for it through "constructive unionism". This was chiefly embodied by the passing acts of parliament and enacting ministerial decisions viewed as addressing Ireland's problems and political demands during Conservative periods of government such as Balfour's decision as
Chief Secretary for Ireland The Chief Secretary for Ireland was a key political office in the British Dublin Castle administration, administration in Ireland. Nominally subordinate to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Lieutenant, and officially the "Chief Secretar ...
to create the Congested Districts Board, his earlier push for the 1885 Purchase of Land Act and the 1887 Land Law (Ireland) Act which expanded the Liberal's 1881 loan programme for small farmers to purchase lands (the programme overall was in response to the Plan of Campaign by Irish MPs), or the later Conservative government's implementation of the Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898.


Struggle for home rule

Former Conservative barrister
Isaac Butt Isaac Butt (6 September 1813 – 5 May 1879) was an Irish barrister A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdiction (area), jurisdictions. Barristers mostly specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation. Their tasks inclu ...
was instrumental in fostering links between Constitutional and Revolutionary nationalism through his representation of members of the
Fenian The word ''Fenian'' () served as an umbrella term for the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and their affiliate in the United States, the Fenian Brotherhood, secret political organisations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries dedicate ...
Society in court. In May 1870, he established a new moderate nationalist movement, the Irish Home Government Association. In November 1873, under the chairmanship of William Shaw, it reconstituted itself as the Home Rule League. The League's goal was limited self-government for Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. In the 1874 general election, League-affiliated candidates won 53 seats in Parliament. Butt died in 1879. In 1880, a radical young Protestant landowner,
Charles Stewart Parnell Charles Stewart Parnell (27 June 1846 – 6 October 1891) was an Irish nationalist politician who served as a Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) from 1875 to 1891, also acting as Leader of the Home Rule League fr ...
became chairman, and in the 1880 general election, the League won 63 seats. In 1882, Parnell turned the Home Rule League into the
Irish Parliamentary Party The Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP; commonly called the Irish Party or the Home Rule Party) was formed in 1874 by Isaac Butt, the leader of the Nationalist Party (Ireland), Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliament ...
(IPP), a formally organized party which became a major political force. The IPP came to dominate Irish politics, to the exclusion of the previous Liberal, Conservative, and Unionist parties that had existed there. In the 1885 general election, the IPP won 85 out of the 103 Irish seats; another Home Rule MP was elected for Liverpool Scotland.


Adversary Lords

Two attempts were made by Liberals under British Prime Minister
William Ewart Gladstone William Ewart Gladstone ( ; 29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British statesman and Liberal Party (UK), Liberal politician. In a career lasting over 60 years, he served for 12 years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, spread ...
to enact home rule bills. Gladstone, impressed by Parnell, had become personally committed to granting Irish home rule in 1885. With his famous three-hour Irish Home Rule speech Gladstone beseeched parliament to pass the
Irish Government Bill 1886 The Government of Ireland Bill 1886, commonly known as the First Home Rule Bill, was the first major attempt made by a British government to enact a law creating home rule for part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It was intr ...
, and grant home rule to Ireland in honour rather than being compelled to do so one day in humiliation. His bill was defeated in the Commons by 30 votes. The Bill resulted in serious riots in Belfast during the summer and autumn of 1886 in which many were killed, and caused the Liberal Unionist Association to split from the main Liberal party. They allied with the
Lord Salisbury Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (; 3 February 183022 August 1903) was a British statesman and Conservative Party (UK), Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom three times for a ...
's Conservatives until 1914 on the issue of Home Rule. The defeat of the bill caused Gladstone to temporarily lose power. Having returned to power after the 1892 general election Gladstone, undaunted, made a second attempt to introduce Irish Home Rule following Parnell's death with the Irish Government Bill 1893 which he controversially drafted in secret and thereby flawed. Eventually it was steered through the Commons by
William O'Brien William O'Brien (2 October 1852 – 25 February 1928) was an Irish Irish nationalism, nationalist, journalist, agrarian agitator, social revolutionary, politician, party leader, newspaper publisher, author and Member of Parliament (MP) in the ...
, with a majority of 30 votes, only to be defeated in the
Conservative Conservatism is a Philosophy of culture, cultural, Social philosophy, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in r ...
's pro- unionist majority controlled
House of Lords The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the Bicameralism, upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by Life peer, appointment, Hereditary peer, heredity or Lords Spiritual, official function. Like the ...
. On this defeat the new Liberal leader
Lord Rosebery Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, 1st Earl of Midlothian, (7 May 1847 – 21 May 1929) was a British Liberal Party (UK), Liberal Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from March 1894 to June 1895. ...
adopted the policy of promising Salisbury that the majority vote of English MPs would have a veto on any future Irish Home Rule Bills. The Nationalist movement divided in the 1890s. The Liberals lost the 1895 General Election and their Conservative opponents remained in power until 1905.


Home Rule bills

The four Irish Home Rule bills introduced in the
House of Commons of the United Kingdom The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster in London, England. The House of Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 mem ...
during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, were intended to grant self-government and national autonomy to the whole of Ireland within the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state in the British Isles that existed between 1801 and 1922, when it included all of Ireland. It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the Kingdom of Great B ...
and reverse parts of the
Acts of Union 1800 The Acts of Union 1800 (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a single 'Act of Union 1801') were parallel acts of the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland which united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Irela ...
. Of the two that passed the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of We ...
the Third Bill, enacted as the
Government of Ireland Act 1914 The Government of Ireland Act 1914 (4 & 5 Geo. 5 c. 90), also known as the Home Rule Act, and before enactment as the Third Home Rule Bill, was an Act of Parliament, Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom intended to provide home ...
and then suspended, while the Fourth Bill, enacted as the
Government of Ireland Act 1920 The Government of Ireland Act 1920 (10 & 11 Geo. 5 c. 67) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislativ ...
established two separate Home Rule territories in Ireland, of which the one was implemented by the
Parliament of Northern Ireland The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended because of its inability to restore ord ...
, but the second Parliament of Southern Ireland was not implemented in the rest of Ireland. The bills were: * 1886: First Irish Home Rule Bill defeated in the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In both of these countries, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the nominally upper house of parliament. T ...
and never introduced in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the Bicameralism, upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by Life peer, appointment, Hereditary peer, heredity or Lords Spiritual, official function. Like the ...
. * 1893: Second Irish Home Rule Bill passed the House of Commons, but defeated in the House of Lords. * 1912–14: Third Irish Home Rule Bill passed under the Parliament Act after House of Lords defeats, with
Royal Assent Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature, either directly or through an official acting on the monarch's behalf. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in other ...
as the Government of Ireland Act 1914 but never came into force, due to the intervention of World War I (1914–18) and of the
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed Rebellion, insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916. The Rising was launched by Irish republicanism, Irish republicans against Br ...
in Dublin (1916). * 1920: Fourth Irish Home Rule Act (replaced Third Act, passed and implemented as the Government of Ireland Act 1920) which established
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is #Descriptions, variously described as ...
as a Home Rule entity within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and attempted to establish Southern Ireland as another but instead resulted in the
partition of Ireland The partition of Ireland ( ga, críochdheighilt na hÉireann) was the process by which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided History of Ireland (1801–1923), Ireland into two self-governing polities: Northe ...
and Irish independence through the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922. In 1920 the unionist peer Lord Monteagle of Brandon proposed his own Dominion of Ireland Bill in the House of Lords, at the same time as the Government bill was passing through the house.''Hansard'' (House of Lords, 1 July 1920, vol 40 cc 1113–1162) This bill would have given a united Ireland extensive home rule over all domestic matters as a dominion within the empire, with foreign affairs and defence remaining the responsibility of the Westminster government. Lord Monteagle's bill was defeated at second reading.


Home Rule in sight

Following the 1895 general election, the Conservatives were in power for ten years. The significant
Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 (61 & 62 Vict. c. 37) was an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that established a system of local government in I ...
(following the English Act of 1888) introduced for the first time the enfranchisement of local electors, bringing about a system of localised home rule in many areas. In the 1906 general election the Liberals were returned with an overall majority, but Irish Home Rule was not on their agenda until after the second 1910 general election when the nationalist
Irish Parliamentary Party The Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP; commonly called the Irish Party or the Home Rule Party) was formed in 1874 by Isaac Butt, the leader of the Nationalist Party (Ireland), Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliament ...
under its leader John Redmond held the balance of power in the House of Commons. Prime Minister H. H. Asquith came to an understanding with Redmond, that if he supported his move to break the power of the Lords, Asquith would then in return introduce a new Home Rule Bill. The Parliament Act 1911 forced the Lords to agree to a curtailment of their powers. Now their unlimited veto was replaced with a delaying one lasting only two years. The Third Home Rule Bill introduced in 1912 was as in 1886 and 1893 ferociously opposed by Ulster unionists, for whom Home Rule was synonymous with Rome Rule as well as being indicative of economic decline and a threat to their cultural and industrial identity.
Edward Carson Edward Henry Carson, 1st Baron Carson, Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, PC, Privy Council of Ireland, PC (Ire) (9 February 1854 – 22 October 1935), from 1900 to 1921 known as Sir Edward Carson, was an Unionism in Ireland, Irish u ...
and James Craig, leaders of the unionists, were instrumental in organising the Ulster Covenant against the "coercion of Ulster", at which time Carson reviewed Orange and Unionist volunteers in various parts of Ulster. These were united into a single body known as the
Ulster Volunteers The Ulster Volunteers was an Irish Unionism in Ireland, unionist, Ulster loyalism, loyalist paramilitary organisation founded in 1912 to block devolution, domestic self-government ("Home Rule Act 1914, Home Rule") for Ireland, which was then p ...
at the start of 1912. This was followed in the south by the formation of the
Irish Volunteers The Irish Volunteers ( ga, Óglaigh na hÉireann), sometimes called the Irish Volunteer Force or Irish Volunteer Army, was a military organisation established in 1913 by Irish nationalists and republicans. It was ostensibly formed in respo ...
to restrain Ulster. Both Nationalists and Republicans, except for the All-for-Ireland Party, brushed unionist concerns aside with "no concessions for Ulster", treating their threat as a bluff. The Act received
Royal Assent Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature, either directly or through an official acting on the monarch's behalf. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in other ...
and was placed on the statute books on 18 September 1914, but under the Suspensory Act was deferred for no longer than the duration of
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
which had broken out in August. The widely held assumption at the time was that the war would be short lived.


Changed realities

With the participation of Ireland in the First World War, the southern Irish Volunteers split into the larger National Volunteers and followed Redmond's call to support the Allied war effort to ensure the future implementation of Home Rule by voluntarily enlisting in
Irish regiment The Irish military diaspora refers to the many people of either Irish birth or extraction (see Irish diaspora) who have served in overseas armed forces, military forces, regardless of rank, duration of service, or success. Many overseas military ...
s of the 10th (Irish) Division or the
16th (Irish) Division The 16th (Irish) Division was an infantry Division (military), division of the British Army, raised for service during World War I. The division was a voluntary 'Service' formation of Herbert Kitchener, Lord Kitchener's Kitchener's Army, New Arm ...
of Kitchener's New Service Army. The men of the Ulster Volunteers joined the
36th (Ulster) Division The 36th (Ulster) Division was an infantry Infantry is a military specialization which engages in ground combat on foot. Infantry generally consists of light infantry, mountain infantry, motorized infantry & mechanized infantry, airbo ...
. Between 1914 and 1918 Irish regiments suffered severe losses. A core element of the remaining Irish Volunteers who opposed the nationalist constitutional movement towards independence and the Irish support for the war effort, staged the
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed Rebellion, insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916. The Rising was launched by Irish republicanism, Irish republicans against Br ...
of 1916 in Dublin. Initially widely condemned in both Britain and Ireland, the
British government ga, Rialtas a Shoilse gd, Riaghaltas a Mhòrachd , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size = 220px , image2 = Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg , image_size2 = 180px , caption = Royal coat of arms of t ...
's mishandling of the aftermath of the Rising, including the rushed executions of its leaders by General Maxwell, led to a rise in popularity for an
Irish republican Irish republicanism ( ga, poblachtánachas Éireannach) is the political movement for the United Ireland, unity and independence of Ireland under a republic. Irish republicans view British rule in Ireland, British rule in any part of Ireland a ...
movement named Sinn Féin, a small separatist party taken over by the survivors of the Easter Rising. Britain made two futile attempts to implement Home Rule, both of which failed because of Ulster unionists' protesting against its proposed implementation for the whole island of Ireland; first after the Rising and then at the end of the
Irish Convention The Irish Convention was an assembly which sat in Dublin, Ireland from July 1917 until March 1918 to address the ''Irish question'' and other constitutional problems relating to an early enactment of self-government for Ireland, to debate its wid ...
of 1917–1918. With the collapse of the allied front during the German spring offensive and
Operation Michael Operation Michael was a major German Army (German Empire), German Offensive (military), military offensive during the First World War that began the German Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918. It was launched from the Hindenburg Line, in the vi ...
, the British Army had a serious manpower shortage, and the Cabinet agreed on 5 April to enact Home Rule immediately, linked in with a "dual policy" of extending conscription to Ireland. This signalled the end of a political era, which resulted in a swing of public opinion towards Sinn Féin and physical force separatism. Interest in Home Rule began to fade as a result.


Home Rule enacted

After the end of the war in November 1918 Sinn Féin secured a majority of 73 Irish seats in the
general election A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation, state, or territory's primary legislative body, and are different from by-election ...
, with 25 of these seats taken uncontested. The IPP was decimated, falling to only six seats; it disbanded soon afterward. In January 1919 twenty-seven Sinn Féin MPs assembled in Dublin and proclaimed themselves unilaterally as an independent parliament of an
Irish Republic The Irish Republic ( ga, Poblacht na hÉireann or ) was an unrecognised revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the Unit ...
. This was ignored by Britain. The
Irish War of Independence The Irish War of Independence () or Anglo-Irish War was a guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army (1919–1922), Irish Republican Army (IRA, the army of the Irish Republic) and United Kingdom of Gre ...
(1919–1921) ensued. Britain went ahead with its commitment to implement Home Rule by passing a new Fourth Home Rule Bill, the
Government of Ireland Act 1920 The Government of Ireland Act 1920 (10 & 11 Geo. 5 c. 67) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislativ ...
, largely shaped by the Walter Long Committee which followed findings contained in the report of the Irish Convention. Long, a firm unionist, felt free to shape Home Rule in Unionism's favour, and formalised dividing Ireland (and
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional provinces of Ireland, Irish provinces. It is made up of nine Counties of Ireland, counties: si ...
) into
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is #Descriptions, variously described as ...
and Southern Ireland. The latter never functioned, but was replaced under the
Anglo-Irish Treaty The 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty ( ga , An Conradh Angla-Éireannach), commonly known in Ireland as The Treaty and officially the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland, was an agreement between the government of the ...
by the
Irish Free State The Irish Free State ( ga, Saorstát Éireann, , ; 6 December 192229 December 1937) was a State (polity), state established in December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. The treaty ended the three-year Irish War of Independ ...
which later became the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland (), is a country in north-western Europe consisting of 26 of the 32 Counties of Ireland, counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, on the eastern ...
. The Home Rule
Parliament of Northern Ireland The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended because of its inability to restore ord ...
came into being in June 1921. At its inauguration, in
Belfast City Hall Belfast City Hall ( ga, Halla na Cathrach Bhéal Feirste; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Bilfawst Citie Haw'') is the civic building of Belfast City Council located in Donegall Square, Belfast, Northern Ireland. It faces North and effect ...
,
King George V George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until Death and state funeral of George V, his death in 1936. Born duri ...
made a famous appeal drafted by Prime Minister Lloyd George for Anglo-Irish and north–south reconciliation. The Anglo-Irish Treaty had provided for Northern Ireland's Parliament to opt out of the new Free State, which was a foregone conclusion. The
Irish Civil War The Irish Civil War ( ga, Cogadh Cathartha na hÉireann; 28 June 1922 – 24 May 1923) was a conflict that followed the Irish War of Independence and accompanied the establishment of the Irish Free State, an entity independent from the United ...
(1922–1923) followed. The Parliament of Northern Ireland continued in operation until 30 March 1972, when it was suspended in favour of direct rule by the
Northern Ireland Office The Northern Ireland Office (NIO; ga, Oifig Thuaisceart Éireann, Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Norlin Airlann Oaffis'') is a Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of Government of the United Kingdom, His M ...
during
The Troubles The Troubles ( ga, Na Trioblóidí) were an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted about 30 years from the late 1960s to 1998. Also known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict, it is sometimes described as an "i ...
. It was subsequently abolished under the
Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 The Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which received the royal assent on 18 July 1973. The Act abolished the suspended Parliament of Northern Ireland and the post of Gov ...
. Various versions of the
Northern Ireland Assembly sco-ulster, Norlin Airlan Assemblie , legislature = Seventh Assembly , coa_pic = File:NI_Assembly.svg , coa_res = 250px , house_type = Unicameral Unicameralism (from ''uni''- "one" + Latin ''came ...
re-established home rule in 1973–74, 1982–86, intermittently from 1998 to 2002, and from 2007 onward. The Assembly attempts to balance the interests of the unionist and republican factions through a " power sharing" agreement.


See also

* Irish issue in British politics *
Edward Carson Edward Henry Carson, 1st Baron Carson, Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, PC, Privy Council of Ireland, PC (Ire) (9 February 1854 – 22 October 1935), from 1900 to 1921 known as Sir Edward Carson, was an Unionism in Ireland, Irish u ...
* James Craig *
Charles Stewart Parnell Charles Stewart Parnell (27 June 1846 – 6 October 1891) was an Irish nationalist politician who served as a Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) from 1875 to 1891, also acting as Leader of the Home Rule League fr ...
* John Redmond * John Dillon *
John O'Connor Power John O'Connor Power (13 February 1846 – 21 February 1919) was an Irish people, Irish Irish Republican Brotherhood, Fenian and a Home Rule League and Irish Parliamentary Party politician and as Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), MP in the ...
*
William O'Brien William O'Brien (2 October 1852 – 25 February 1928) was an Irish Irish nationalism, nationalist, journalist, agrarian agitator, social revolutionary, politician, party leader, newspaper publisher, author and Member of Parliament (MP) in the ...
* Hugh Heinrick * Loyalist Anti-Repeal Union * Parliament of Southern Ireland *
Parliament of Northern Ireland The Parliament of Northern Ireland was the home rule legislature of Northern Ireland, created under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which sat from 7 June 1921 to 30 March 1972, when it was suspended because of its inability to restore ord ...
* Solemn League and Covenant (Ulster) * Unionists (Ireland) *
Devolution Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state A sovereign state or sovereign country, is a polity, political entity represented by one central government that has supreme legitimat ...
*
Easter Rising The Easter Rising ( ga, Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed Rebellion, insurrection in Ireland during Easter Week in April 1916. The Rising was launched by Irish republicanism, Irish republicans against Br ...
* Gladstone's Irish Home Rule speech (beseech in its favour) *
Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 (61 & 62 Vict. c. 37) was an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that established a system of local government in I ...
* History of the Republic of Ireland *
Partition of Ireland The partition of Ireland ( ga, críochdheighilt na hÉireann) was the process by which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided History of Ireland (1801–1923), Ireland into two self-governing polities: Northe ...
* History of Ireland (1801-1923)


Notes


References


Further reading

* Government of Ireland Act 1914, available from the House of Lords Record Office * * Hennessey, Thomas: ''Dividing Ireland'', World War 1 and Partition, (1998), * Irish Government Bill 1893, available from the House of Lords Record Office * Jackson, Alvin: ''Home Rule, an Irish History 1800–2000'', Phoenix Press (2003), * Kee, Robert: ''The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism'',(2000 edition, first published 1972), * Lewis, Geoffrey: ''Carson, the Man who divided Ireland'' (2005), * Loughlin, James ''Gladstone, Home Rule and the Ulster Question, 1882–1893'', Dublin: (1986) * MacDonagh, Michael: ''The Home Rule Movement'', Talbot Press, Dublin (1920) * * O'Connor Power, John, ''The Anglo-Irish Quarrel: A Plea for Peace'', a reprint of recent articles in the ''Manchester Guardian'', revised by the author (London, 1886) * O'Donnell, F. Hugh, 'A History of the Irish Parliamentary Party', 2 vols (London, 1910) * Rodner, W. S.: "Leaguers, Covenanters, Moderates: British Support for Ulster, 1913–14" pages 68–85 from ''Éire-Ireland'', Volume 17, Issue #3, 1982. * Smith, Jeremy: "Bluff, Bluster and Brinkmanship: Andrew Bonar Law and the Third Home Rule Bill" pages 161–174 from ''Historical Journal'', Volume 36, Issue #1, (1993) * Stanford, Jane, "That Irishman: The Life and Times of John O'Connor Power", History Press Ireland, 2011, * Turner, Edward Raymond (1917). "Opposition to Home Rule". American Political Science Review. 11 (3): 448–460.


External links


Ulster Covenant – Public Record Office of Northern Ireland



CAIN – University of Ulster Conflict Archive


*

from
BAILII The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII, pronounced "Bailey") provides legal information, and especially reports of cases decided by courts, in the United Kingdom generally. Decisions from England and Wales, Republic of Irela ...

House of Lords Library – Record Office, for Texts of Irish Government bills

Department of the Taoiseach
– Irish Soldiers in the First World War. {{Authority control 1886 in Ireland 1893 in Ireland 1914 in Ireland 1920 in Ireland Irish nationalism