•“Ireland today is peaceful beyond
recall. She has almost entirely cast off
her suspicions and her rancour
towards this country (England)”
•John Redmond, 1912, at the British
parliament debating the third Home
• Redmond's words were proved widely
• Within weeks, groups in ulster were
openly defying the right of parliament to
impose Home Rule.
• Within a year, rival military groups were
preparing for an armed conflict.
• Within ten years, Ireland was in a civil war
and spilt into two separate governments.
Origins of Change
•These events were due to the
third Home Rule bill.
•In 1912, the British prime
minister, Asquith, was
reluctant to introduce the bill
but the political situation left
him little choice.
• In 1906, Asquith’s liberals won the election
with a large majority. His government
spend heavily on special welfare and
• In order to pay for these, the chancellor of
the Exchequer Lloyd George, proposed
new and heavier taxes in his 1909 budget.
• The budget was rejected by the house of
lords, which consisted mainly of
•This budget fight led to two
elections in 1910.
•After the second, the liberals and
conservatives had 273 seats each.
The new labour party had 43, and
Redmond's I.N.P had 84 holding
the palace of power.
Home Rules Opportunity
•The Home Rules chance had
•Redmond offered his support to
the liberals in return for Home
Rule. Asquith and the I.N.P set up
a bill to first limit the House of
Lords power to veto bills.
• In 1911, the liberals and I.N.P passed a bill
through the House of Commons.
• The bill meant that any law passed
through the commons but rejected by the
Lords would still become law after a two
• There was now no opposition to Home
Rule, only a wait.
• Asquith introduced the bill in 1912. Its
terms were simple.
Home Rule bill Terms
• An Irish parliament was to be responsible for most
Irish domestic matters, such as education, health
• This Irish parliament would select an Irish executive
• Matters such as defence, foreign policy and taxation
remained under the control of the British
parliament. So did legislation dealing with religious
• The British parliament kept complete authority over
the Irish parliament;
• Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom.
• Asquith and Redmond believed that the
mild terms of the Home Rule bill would
pacify its opponents.
• This was a fatal mistake. They
underestimated the fierce determination
of those who condemned Home Rule.
They failed to realise that many were
ready to resist Home Rule by any
means, including armed Rebellion.