The drama of the Home Rule Bill was to be an extraordinary curtain raiser to a decade that changed the face of modern Ireland
For a newspaper which largely represented the views of Protestants in southern Ireland, the move to introduce Home Rule was 'a conspiracy to interrupt and destroy the peace and prosperity of Ireland'
Social and economic conditions were improving for large sections of Irish society during the early years of the 20th century and the increasing prosperity fuelled a growing desire for political independence.
The introduction by Prime Minister Herbert Asquith of a third effort to grant Home Rule led to a increasingly bitter debate in the House of Commons, with the Unionist politicians hell bent on scuppering the proposal.
Herbert Asquith, British prime minister from 1908 until 1916, was at the height of his powers when he made a trip to Dublin in 1912 to counter the Conservative opposition's near-treasonous support for Ulster resistance
In 1912, after it was announced that a Home Rule Bill would be introduced for Ireland, there was turmoil in the North. Unionists gathered in Belfast to protest, old hatreds, welled up and the idea of partition loomed
The Unionist leader sought to maintain all of Ireland in the UK and saw the severing of the 26 counties in 1921 as British government betrayal
The Ulster Covenant: Nearly 500,000 men and women signed their respective pledges
Ulster Unionists and British Conservatives were now inseparably bonded together in their opposition to Home Rule
“He came to symbolise the very soul of Ulster intransigence” - FSL Lyons
By 1914, the influential political magazine 'Punch' was running half of its cartoons on Irish political themes - but it had developed a grudging acceptance of the inevitability of Home Rule
Ireland before the first World War was a stage set for revolution - nationalism's growing, evolving appeal complemented by the emergence of the labour and women's movements
By delivering the promise of Home Rule, John Redmond achieved what O'Connell and Parnell had failed to do, but died early disappointed, on the wrong side of history
Though his opinions were often controversial, Arthur Griffith, the founder of Sinn Féin who would head the Treaty negotiations in 1921, was a major figure in the fight for Irish independence
After Independence, the moderate Home Rule party was effectively airbrushed out of official Irish history, but it left its mark on politics – North and South
As James Joyce's writings reflect, 1912 was a time of unease, with Unionists flocking to sign their anti-Home Rule Covenant in blood and some republicans looking back to an ancient, common Celtic past for inspiration
The distinctive Irish ideology of “nationalism” evolved as an expression of our desire and increasing capacity to rule ourselves, but, like elsewhere, wrapped in all the supposed trappings of nationhood
Debate on Establishment of an Irish Parliament - House of Commons, 13th June 1912 (Hansard)
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