Home Rule Bills/Acts

  • Ireland wanted Home Rule, which meant it wanted its own parliament, it wanted to be an independant country.
  • This had had been taken away by Pitt's Act of Union 1801.
  •  Gladstone was the first one to try and settle the dispute by trying to give ireland home rule, he believed that if ireland was a nation then the least he could do was give them their own parliament.  
  • In 1886 and 1893 he tried to pass the home rule bill, both theses were defeated the first by the House of Commons the second by the House of Lords.  
  • Asquith was the man in charge of getting the Third home rule bill through the house of lords, it was successfull in 1912 however because of the war it was never put into action.  


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Gladstone's 1st Home Rule Bill 1886

WHY?   After Hawarden Kite, Gladstone felt that he had no choice but to introduce Home Rule.  (Hawarden Kite = Gladstone's son revealed he was in favour of irish home rule -bombshell for British Public and Protestant Irish.) Gladstone also believed that if Ireland was a nation it deserved its own Parliament.

WHAT WILL IT DO? This Home Rule Bill will mean that Ireland will have a parliament in Dublin, though it wont have Irish MPs at westminster even though irish people are paying taxes to westminster and no separate provision for ulster ( ulster is a minority and wont be given any provision for being protestant).

WHO DOESN'T LIKE IT?  Monarchy, Q. Victoria agrees with unification. Liberals like Chamberlain, who eventually become Liberal Unionists. Tories, they want to keep the union upheld and also fear that if the union  between ireland and britain goes that the British Empire will lose other countries like India and British Empire will disintegrate. Ulster - Randolph Churchill said : ' Ulster will fight and Ulster will be Right'

WHAT HAPPENED? The Bill was defeated in the House of Commons, Chamberlain led a group of liberals to vote against Gladstone.  Never had a chance anyway - 90% of House of Lords were Tories who believe in Union + wont support Home Rule. 

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Gladstone's 2nd Home Rule Bill 1893

WHY? Gladstone believed Ireland was a nation therefore it deserved its own Parliament.   He was also described as 'an old man in a hurry', he was old and wanted to do something important before he died, he became obsessed with the idea of Home Rule.

WHAT WILL IT DO? exactly the same as before except there would be 80 Irish MPs at Westminster.

WHO DOESNT LIKE IT? Monarchy, Tories, Unionists, House of Lords, Liberal Unionists (Chamberlain), Normal unionists as they felt that Home Rule was a vote loser, Ulster.

WHAT HAPPENED? Defeated by tory dominated House of Lords as they believed it was a stepping stone to separation and independence.

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Asquith's 3rd Home Rule Bill 1912

WHY? tension surrounding Home Rule was intensifying, ireland wanted Home Rule and wouldn't stop till it was achieved

WHAT WILL IT DO?  similar to second Home Rule Bill - would have a two chamber Irish assembly --> 40 members of the senate and 164 members of the lower house, 42 MPs at the Imperial parliament in Westminster, Irish could have their own taxes and vary the imperial (british) taxes.

WHO DOESNT LIKE IT? Ulster(most of which are Protestant Landowners), Edward Carson = solemn league and convent which outlined their opposition to Home Rule and 450,000 signed the covenant, some in their own blood.  They believe that Home rule would be disastrous to the economy and would undermine the empire.

WHAT HAPPENED? passed in 1912 due to a parliament law that that suspended the house of Lords veto (veto- they could just dismiss the law completely - there say was final until that was suspended)  then they could only delay it for 2 years, if it went through House of Commons. However after 2 years it was 1912 Britain was heading into war and it was ignored as they had much more important things to worry about.

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