Home Rule - Irish Home Rule

Irish Home Rule

The issue of Irish home rule was the dominant political question of British and Irish politics at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

From the late nineteenth century, Irish leaders of the Home Rule League, the predecessor of the Irish Parliamentary Party, under Isaac Butt, William Shaw, and Charles Stewart Parnell demanded a form of home rule, with the creation of an Irish parliament within the British government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. This demand led to the eventual introduction of four Home Rule Bills, of which two were passed, the Third Home Rule Act won by John Redmond and most notably the Government of Ireland Act 1920 (which created the home rule parliaments of Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland -- the latter state did not in reality function and was replaced by the Irish Free State), which was enacted.

The home rule demands of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century differed from earlier demands for Repeal by Daniel O'Connell in the first half of the nineteenth century. Whereas home rule meant a constitutional movement towards a national All-Ireland parliament in part under Westminster, repeal meant the repeal of the 1801 Act of Union (if need be, by physical force) and the creation of an entirely independent Irish state, separated from the United Kingdom, with only a shared monarch joining them both.

  • 1886: First Irish Home Rule Bill was defeated in the House of Commons.
  • 1893: Second Irish Home Rule Bill passed by the House of Commons, vetoed in the House of Lords.
  • 1914: Third Irish Home Rule Bill passed to the statute books, temporarily suspended by intervention of World War I (1914–1918), finally following the Easter Rising in Dublin (1916).
  • 1920: Fourth Irish Home Rule Act (Government of Ireland Act 1920) fully implemented in Northern Ireland and partially implemented in Southern Ireland.

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