Ireland under the UK during and after World War One

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Nature and Causes of the 'Irish Problem'

  • The coalition's biggest problem, with centuries old enmities
  • 17th Century-In the beginning, 90% of land belonged to Catholics, by the end, 85% belonged to Protestants
  • Irish Home Rule Movement-Active from the mid-19th Century, gained a lot of support from Gladstone. However, his Home Rule bills of 1886 and 1893 were defeated
  • Pre-War-Home Rulers satrted to get overtaken in support by Sinn Fein ('Ourselves Alone') who would only be content with independence
  • 1912-Ulster Volunteer Force formed by 100,000 Unionists (with a £1mil. widow fund). Nationalist responded by founding the Irish Volunteers
  • Conservatives tended to be against Home Rule, Liberals were more sympathetic and believed that it was wrong to force self-government on the north but did understand that the majority should have their say i.e. independence
  • 1914-Federal structure considered for all of Britain, as well as the possibility of Ulster remaining while the rest got HR, outbreak of war prevented this experiment
  • 1916-Easter Rising led to a crackdown by the British…


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