Home rule

Today, in 1913, the third autonomy bill was passed by the House of Commons

On January 16, 1913, the Third Reading of the Government of Ireland Bill, more commonly known as the Third Irish Home Rule Bill, was passed by the House of Commons in London.

Two weeks later, he was to be rejected again – for the third time – by the House of Lords which aligned with the Unionists – living mainly in Ulster – and feared that the introduction of Home Rule would mean a break for the union of Ireland. and England.

For once, this rejection in the House of Lords did not mark a return to square one for supporters of Home Rule in Ireland. Thanks to the Parliament Act of 1911, the House of Lords no longer had the power to reject a bill, but simply to delay it, which meant that Home Rule had yet to be implemented but with a little waiting.

The Home Rule Bill was a law that would remove the governance of Ireland from England and return it to Ireland. Following the failure of a rebellion involving French assistance in 1798, the Act of Union of 1800 was implemented, essentially meaning that the Irish no longer entered into a personal union with England with the ‘Protestant ancestry ruling over the country from Dublin, they were now ruled directly from London.

READ MORE: Irish Home Rule political cartoons acquired by Great Hunger Institute (PHOTOS).

Attempts to abrogate this union began immediately with “The Emancipator”, Daniel O’Connell struggling to end throughout the 1840s.

Earlier this week, we saw the anniversary of his first public speech against the Act of Union to a group of Catholics in Dublin, in which he said he would be better off going back to the days of criminal law than to spend more time in such a union with England.

“Let every man who feels with me proclaim that if the alternative of the Union were offered to him, or of the reconstitution of the Penal Code in all its primitive horrors, he would unhesitatingly prefer the latter, as less and more than sympathizers proclaimed to the Catholic assembly of January 13, 1800, “that he would rather confide in the justice of his brothers, the Protestants of Ireland, who had already freed him, than to put his country at the feet of foreigners”.

READ MORE: Today, in 1800, Daniel O’Connell gave his first speech opposing Union with England.

The concept of Home Rule, however, did not gain public attention in Ireland until the 1870s, following further failed uprisings in 1803, 1848, and 1867.

In 1870 Isaac Butt, a lawyer and former Conservative MP, founded the Irish Home Government Association. Using a cross section of progressive landowners, tenant rights activists, supporters and sympathizers of the failed Fenian uprising of 1867, Butt and the association evolved into the Home Rule League that won the alliance of many Irish MPs.

The movement would be revitalized once again with the introduction of master organizer Charles Stewart Parnell as a leader, turning the Home Rule effort into a powerful political force from the parish level to parliament.

By the time it was finally passed in 1913, it was the third time that a self-government bill had come before the English Parliament. The first came in 1886 under the Liberal government of Prime Minister William Gladstone with the support of Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party. The bill was not even passed by the House of Commons.

The second attempt took place in 1893 with the recently deceased Parnell and although it was passed by the House of Commons, it was rejected by the House of Lords.

It was not until 19 years later under the Liberal government of Herbert Asquith that the bill returned. During two general elections, Asquith and his party had held on to power by allying with the Irish Nationalist Party and its leader John Redmond. A condition of this alliance was to finally respect Home Rule for Ireland.

The bill was successfully passed by both houses in early 1913 due to the reduced powers of the House of Lords.

Unfortunately for the Home Rule party, the outbreak of World War I in 1914 sent the British government into emergency mode and the Home Rule Bill was once again put on the spot.

With the promise of its immediate implementation at the end of the war, John Redmond gave a rousing speech to the Irish volunteers in which he encouraged them to support the British cause against Germany.

As a largely Protestant country trying to assert its power over smaller Catholic countries, many were happy to force a fight against Germany and many even enlisted in the British Army to fight in the trenches.

There was a minority, however, who were unhappy that the British did not respond to a request once again and felt Redmond was weak in complying with another excuse instead of implementing Home Rule in time. Among that minority were the leaders of the 1916 Uprising who were not prepared to wait any longer to regain power from Britain.

Seeing World War I as a hardship for England and an opportunity for Ireland, they staged the Easter Rising of 1916, a failed uprising that nonetheless rekindled the flames of rebellion among the people. Irish and which is celebrated this year as one of the most important events on the road in Ireland. independence.

The autonomy bill was never to exist.

Tags : home ruleprime ministerworld war
Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera