Topic 1: Movements For Political & Social Reform
Home Rule: The Irish Question
In the late nineteenth century the idea of Home Rule, did not mean complete severance from Britain, but more of a domestic home government controlled by the British parliament at Westminister. Although at the outset, the Home Rule Movement was made up of a few different groups, within a few short years, after 1870, it was to expand rapidly both in Ireland and abroad, become more catholic, tenant-dominated and politically successful. But the newly formed Home Rule party was not without its problems. Differences in the tactics of leading figures was to change the opinions of British public figures and
The Home Rule Movement in 1870 was founded by Isaac Butt (Barrister & MP for Youghal). The idea of Home Rule at that time meant a parliament in Dublin to control internal affairs such as education, police and roads, and the Westminister parliament dealing with external affairs i.e. war, peace, customs and trade. The king or queen of England would also remain sovereign of Britain and Ireland. The movement was made up of some protestants who believed the British parliament did not understand Irish affairs, and they did not trust the government, because the government had disestablished the Church of Ireland in 1869 and passed the 1870 Land Act, both of which weakened the position of landlords. The 1872 Secret Ballot Act further weakened the landlord's control over tenants and they felt they could not influence a parliament in Dublin. The movement was also made up of fenians, who were using the movement to promote their own aims, and tenants who were not entirely happy with the 1870 Land Act. However, when the movements' candidates began to support land reform and church controlled education, it became more tenant-dominated and catholic. As more catholics began to support it, more protestants, conservatives and landlords left. The Home Rule association was mainly Dublin...
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