Who was responsible for the Irish Home Rule Crisis 1912-1914?


Who was responsible for the Irish Home Rule Crisis 1912-1914?

Irish Nationalists (For Home Rule)

The Irish Nationalists, a party which had 84 MP's in the house of commons, consisted mainly of Catholics who wanted Home Rule as they believed Ireland should be independent and ran by its own government situated in the prominently Catholic Dublin. Redmond was the leaders of the nationalists and he used their advantage in the HOC's to make home rule a priority. As it remained blocked by the Lords, Nationalsits took greater action; creating the IRB and the Irish Volunteer Force both acted to help gain larger support. Although Redmond was against violence, it was to an extent which many of the Irish volunteers were willing to go through. A military build-up was in action which took place after a rifle smuggling in Howarth, in retaliation to the Unionists also doing so. This was picked up by the Liberal government who took measures against the Nationalists.

Ulster Unionists (Against Home Rule)

The Ulster Unionists were led by Edward Carson, a Unionist MP. The Unionists consisted predominantly of minortity Irish Protestants who feared home rule would lead to government dominated by Catholicism. They saw themselves as British and not Irish unlike the Nationalists. The Unionists planned a separate government for Ulster and became hostile protesters in large demonstrations. An Ulster volunteer force was also established and unionist smuggled in weapons- clearly advocating mass violence. This also involved a military build-up. The protesting of the Unionists led to a dedicated day to the Unionists 'Ulster Day' in September and a covenant was signed to show the amount of support. Up to 200,000 members signed, many signed with their own blood. Also, the Unionists were very reluctant to come to agreement with the Liberals idea of temporary exclusion and this led to a refusal to compromise. 

Herbert Asquith and the Liberals (For Home Rule)

In 1910, the Liberals had 272 seats, equal to those of the Conservatives and therefore a deal was made between the Liberals and Irish Nationalists; the Nationalists would support the Liberals who would then become the govermnet if they received home rule. Asquith as leader of government showed a pusillanimous (Roy Foster) 'wait and see; approach to the situation. He had failed to successfully negotiate alongside DLG with the Nationalists and Unionists. Irish Home Rule had become a growing issue as violence was being advocated and Ireland was on the brink of Civil War. This was likely to be prevented if Asquith was willing to get involved the situation further and develop tactics to prevent violence and negotiate. The Curragh Mutiny situation of 1914 also showed a lack in leadership from Asquith. Many in the British army refused to fight against Unionists as many themselves had relations with the Unionists. Furthermore at the Buckingham Palace conference in July 1914, an attempt was made to compromise…




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