Ireland 1912 - 1921 - Home Rule and Independance

  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 13-03-14 13:00

Background and History

  • 17th century King James I gave land in Ulster (north) to English and Scottish Protestants 
  • Rest of Ireland mainly Catholic - causng the division and haterd
  • Belfast (North) was a manufacturing trading centre - rich, industrial and prosperous
  • Dublin (South) poor and relied on agriculture 
  • In 1900 ALL of Ireland was part of Great Britain


  • Late 19thC Gladstone (Harwarden) attemped to give Ireland imited Home Rule - Split Liberals (divided up until 1905 (free trade)) and Joseph Chamberlain left the Liberals and became know as the Liberal Unionists
1 of 13

Political Parties Oppinion

  • Conservatives did not want home rule - intrest lay in keeping the Empire in tack. They had the majority in the House Of Lords and so could and were able to veto the bill 3 times.

Irish MPs - had to come to House of Commons in Westminister

  • The Irish Home Rule Party Led by John Redmond in 1910 WANTED HOME RULE NOT INDEPENDANCE.
  • The Sinn Fein Party (Irish) led by Arthur Griffiths WANTED IRISH INDEPENDANCE 
  • Ulster Unionist Council - Formed in Belfast in 1905 WANTED TO RETAIN LINK WITH ENGLAND
2 of 13

1910 Election and 1912 Home Rule Bill

  • 2 elections in 1910 one because of the Peoples Budget and one for the Parliament Bill
  • Liberals lost their majority on the election and needed the support of the Irish MPs in the House of Commons
  • The Irish MPs would later demand Home Rule for Ireland as a price of support

The liberals (asquith) introduced the Home Rule Bill in 1912

  • Parliament for the WHOLE OF IRELAND that could pass limited laws
  • Ulster would be under jurisdiction of the new parliament in Dublin - Detested
  • Protestants did not want to be under Catholic Juristdiction
  • Passed in Commons but delayed by Lords 3 times
3 of 13

Ulster Resistance

Protestant resistance became organised. Led by Edward Carson - Liberal Unionist MP. 1912 unionists volunteered into the Ulster Volunteer Force. Military type parades. in Sepember the 'Solem League and Covenant' was signed by nearly half a million men in Ulster - pleading NEVER TO RECOGNISE A DUBLIN PARLIAMENT

The Conswervatives responded by their leader, attacked thr Home Rule Bill as a 'corrupt bargain' between Asquith and Redmond, designed to gain themselves Irish votes. ACTIVLY ENCOURAGED THE ULSTER RESISTANCE - DEFYING LAW. Law was from Ulster and backed Edward Carson (resistance leader)

Asquith (Liberal Leader) respoded by NOT AMENDING THE HOME RULE BILL missing his chance to exclude Ulster counties. He was very caustios and had a policy of WAIT AND SEE. Did not take Ulster seriously and DID NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT RESISTANCE

in 1913 the Bill was once again passed in Commons and rejected by Lords. This Failure to agree led to Asquith (liberal), George II (King), Carson (Resistance Leader) and Redmond (Leader of Irish Party) talking but they COULD NOT AGREE - NOTHING WAS ACHIVED

4 of 13

The Irish Volunteers

The paramilitary force in the south (catholic) know as the Irish Volunteers set up in 1913 with 200,000 men in support. Potentially another PARAMILITARY FORCE and looked like Ireland was heading for CIVIL WAR.

Both sides had gained weapons by 1914 and civil war seemed imminent. As WW1 was dawning Irish support was neccessary for Britain as Irland was a 'Back Door to Britain'

5 of 13

1914: The Curragh Mutiny

  • Many British army officers were from Ulster and conserned they would be asked to fire on their countrymen (in a civil war) 
  • This attitude was encouradge by the Conseratives and Bonar Law
  • March 1914 Asquith prepared to send in troops to Ulster. Led to MUTINY 
  • 57 officers said they would resign rather than fight Ulster
  • Asquiths Government stepped down and promised not to use the army to impose Home Rule in Ulster 
  • This made the government look incompetent - only know were they begining to listen to Ulster and begining to see that the divison was inevitable
6 of 13

1914: Asquith's Amending Bill

  • The Amending Bill allowed for Ulster to opt out of the Home Rule for 6 years
  • So if the Conservatives came to power they could amend Home Rule to allow permanent opting out
  • This was accepted by Redmond (Irish Home Rule Pary Leader) but many of his party didn't
  • Bill was rejected by the Lords and tried to add an amendment to the bill for permanent exclusion of Ulster
  • Party leaders met at Buckingham Palace in July 1914 but no agreement could be reached about the boundaries of Ulster (as the majority of either Catholic or Protestant in some countie was debatable) - AMENDING BILL HAD TO BE DROPPED
  • All agreed on the principle of partition for Ireland, which was to be improved for the future


7 of 13

Ireland & WW1 and the formation of Sinn Fein

At the start of war both Redmond and the Irish Nationalists and the Ulster Unionists offered support. However the Irish Nationalist soon became frustrated: the war dragged on for longer than all had expected and Home Rule seemed something of the past. The appointment of Carson (unionist) into the coalition cabinet (set up in ww1) upset the Nationalists. There was an increase into the oppinion that WW1 was not Ireland's concern.

Formation Of Sinn Fein
In 1908 NATIONALIST groups came together, founded by Arthur Griffith - opposed the idea of Irishmen fighting British war. Aimed to break British hold on Ireland. Saw Redmond (Irish nationalist) as too moderate and they opposed the 1912 Home Rule Bill because it did not go far enough

8 of 13

The Easter Rising

September 1914 - Irish volunteers split
Many remained loyal to Redmond - known as NATIONAL VOLUNTEERS
small anti war body split from the majority - know as IRISH VOLUNTEERS
Irish volunteers was led by Eoin MacNeil. There were also other more militant extremists within this small group who planned the rising:
Tom Clarke - criminal 15 imprisonment for bombing offences
Patrick Pears - a teacher
James Connolly - head of Citizen Army

James Connolly led another group from Sinn Fein called the Citizen Army - had a newspaper called the workers republic

What did they do?
Seized key buildings in Dublin
Declared that the Irish Republic had come into being
Planned to import arms from Germany

9 of 13

Failure and Consequences of the Easter Rising

Nightfall on Easter Monday most of Dublin's key building in hands of rebels
no general uprising - Most citizens were hostile to rebels.
Royal Navy intercepted a German ship carrying arms for the rebels.
Sir Roger Casement was captured
British soldiers and armed police men suppressed it within a week
450 rebels and civilians killed 2000 injured
116 soldiers and policemen killed 3000/4000 wounded
Condemned by the Catholic Church, Redmond and the moderate nationalists

Asquith handed the problem to the army
Martial law introduced (temp rule by military)
Around 3000 arrests
90 rebels sentenced to death
15 executed
Roger Casement (human rights campaigner) hanged for treason for his involvement trying to get arms from Germany

10 of 13

Constitutional Consequences

Carson (ulster resistance) and Redmond (Irish Nationalists) agreed on exclusion of 6 majority Protestant counties in Ulster from Home Rule - collapsed because Unionists in the coalition disagreed.
Sinn Fein became the dominant force in Irish Nationalism by 1916 had become a revolutionary party wanting Irish Republic

1916-1921 feelings hardened
Easter Rising seen by the British as an act of treachery in ww1
Irish resented unsuccessful attempt to impose conscription 1918

1918 Sinn Fein won 73 seats in Westminster, set up own parliament in Dublin and proclaimed a republic of the whole of Ireland
De Valera first president
IRA set up as a nationalist army

11 of 13

Lloyd George and the Coalition

Lloyd George and the Conservatives (coalition) tried to gain control of south by using the Black and Tans who were ex servicemen who would shot then think, some from military prison.
Aided by Royal (British) Ulster Constabulary (police)
Anglo Irish war had begun
Martial law proclaimed on both sides
Both sides committed atrocities
1920 14 Britons dragged from a Dublin hotel and shot, later the same day British troops opened fire on an unarmed crowd at Croke Park killing 12 - known as bloody sunday

1920: The Government of Ireland Act
Fighting continued - coalition passed act
Provided Home Rule with Parliament in Dublin and Belfast
Ulster accepted Sinn Fein ignored it
British authority in the south ceased - armed action continued

In 1921 British policy changed from violence to negotiation. Lloyd George met with many Republican Leaders such as de Valera and Arthur Griffith

12 of 13

Anglo Irish Treaty Signed - Consequences

Ulster remained part of the UK and the rest of Ireland was given dominion status rather that independence. A self governing part of the British Empire
Treaty alienated Conservatives and Lloyd George - helped cause his downfall

Civil war in Ireland where many hated the settlement
Collins (republican leader) and others killed in 1922 by the IRA
£3 million damages done to property
June 1922 Ulster MP Henry Wilson was assassinated in London

After 1922 there was 50 years of stability in Irish affairs. But at the time Lloyd George's settlement seemed to do nothing - costly failure

13 of 13


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The British Empire and the fall of colonialism resources »