British Policy in Ireland

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  • British Policy in Ireland (1865-1915)
    • Gladstone (1868-74, 1880-85, 1886, 1892-94)
      • The 1881 Land Act
        • SOME SUCCESS
        • 1879 - The Irish National Land League is formed and demands the "3 F's"
        • Granted the "3 F's"; fair rent, fixity of tenure and free sale of land
          • Rent was fixed for 15 years
            • There was no definition of what 'fair rent' was.
          • The tenant was safe from eviction as long as he paid the rent
          • Rent could not be raised against a tenants improvements
          • It did not help thousands of tenants in arrears and on the point of eviction.
        • The Land Act was a direct response to the findings of the Bessborough Commission
      • The 1870 Land Act
        • If people made improvements to their land their rent went up
        • Most of the land in Ireland was owned by Anglo-Irish landlords, many of who were absentees who rented their land to farmers.
        • The Land Act gave tenant farmers the right to compensation if they have made any improvements to the land
        • FAILURE
        • Tenants were being unfairly turned off the land, this caused a bitter resentment of the landlords
        • The land act introduced the principle of fair rent, it secured fixity of tenure to tenants who paid their rent, made provisions for tenants to sell their leases and arranged for loans to be made available for tenants to purchase land
          • There was no definition of what 'fair rent' was so the rent was still unfair.
          • Tenants continued to be unfairly evicted from their land by the landlords
          • There was no incentive for landlords to allow tenants to become landowners and so they resisted attempts to purchase the land
      • Home Rule
        • 2nd Home Rule Bill (1893)
          • FAILURE
          • 151 Irish MP's in a Dublin Parliament
          • Defeated again and Gladstone resigned for the final time
          • 80 Irish MP's at Westminster Parliament
        • 1st Home Rule Bill (1886)
          • FAILURE
          • The bill was defeated by 343 votes to 313
          • The terms of the bill were: 28 Irish peers could sit in the house of lords, 206 MP's would sit at the parliament in Dublin and no Irish MP's would be in Westminster
          • Home Rule was becoming increasingly harder to ignore.
            • Impact of pressure groups
            • The influence of Charles Parnell
            • The Great Depression
            • The influence of Isaac Butt
            • Gladstone's failure to satisfy Ireland during his first ministry
            • The consequence in Ireland of the Ballot Act
          • Chamberlain defected from the Liberals and formed the Liberal Unionists who voted with the conservatives
        • The 'Hawarden Kite' was Gladstone's dramatic conversion to Home Rule
      • Disestablish the Irish Church
        • Gladstone disagreed that people should pay at a church they did not attend
        • 90% of Ireland was Catholic and they paid to a Protestant church
        • The Church Act (1869) disestablished the Church of Ireland, replacing it with one that was Catholic
        • SUCCESS
      • 1881 Coercion Act
        • the coercion act allowed British government in Ireland to arrest without trial persons "reasonably suspected" of crime and conspiracy.
          • those arrested were often not always suspect, only supportive of the Irish National Land League's movements
        • The bill was introduced in the commons to deal with the growth of the Irish National Land League
        • FAILURE
    • Salisbury (1886-92, 1895-1902)
      • Killing Home Rule with kindness
        • The belief that reforms could settle issues of Home Rule in Ireland
        • Purchase of Land Act 1991 gave an extra 33 million pounds for the purpose of loans to tenants to purchase their land.
        • Congested Districts Board aimed to aid the desperately poor areas in the west of Ireland, including Donegal, Galway and Cork.
          • encouraged local industries and agricultural improvement
          • aided land purchase and resettlement
          • It oversaw the building of harbours, roads and railways
      • Unrest in Ulster
        • Salisbury didn't want the Home Rule Bill to be passed so he sent leading Conservative MP to stir up nationalist feeling in Ulster
        • He knew that the people of Ulster would rather fight a civil war than be ruled by a parliament in Dublin
        • 'Ulster will fight  and Ulster will be right'
    • Liberals (1906-1914)
      • Third Home Rule Bil 1914l
        • The Government used the provisions of the Parliament Act and sent the Bill for Royal Assent
        • Passed through the commons again in 1913 but again rejected by the lords
        • 40 member senate, 164 member house of commons in Ireland and 42 MP's in Westminster
        • Passed in the commons in 1912 but rejected by the lords
        • Finally made legislation in 1914 but due to the outbreak of WW1 Home Rule was put on hold
    • Disraeli (1874-80)
      • Actively ignored the problems in Ireland throughout his time in office.
      • He strongly opposed when Gladstone disestablished the Irish church
      • Disraeli took the view that Gladstone was trying to victimise the landlord class.
      • He did not give the Irish Secretary a place in his cabinet

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