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World War I in 1916,Irish Home Rule Bill passed and implemented 1914

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  • World War I in 1916,Irish Home Rule Bill passed and implemented 1914

    I have (since reading long ago The Strange Death of Liberal England) speculated on what would have happened if Irish Home Rule had been implemented in 1914. Assume World War I doesn't occur until perhaps 1916. Ulster gets seperation from Home Rule. Would Pearse, Connolly, etc. have gotten any support since the main cause celebre would be annexing majority protestant Ulster. Perhaps The Troubles, and seperation from the U. K., have been avoided?

    Some background (from Wikipedia):

    The Third Home Rule Bill
    On 11, April 1912, the Prime Minister introduced the Third Home Rule Bill which foresaw granting Ireland self-government.[4] Allowing more autonomy than its two predecessors, the bill provided for:
    A bicameral Irish Parliament to be set up in Dublin (a 40-member Senate and a 164-member House of Commons) with powers to deal with most national affairs;
    A number of Irish MPs would continue to sit in the Imperial Parliament (42 MPs, rather than 103).
    The abolition of Dublin Castle, though with the retention of the Lord Lieutenant.

    The financial situation was a concern. Irish taxes had yielded a surplus of £2 million in 1893, that had turned into a current spending net deficit of £1.5m by 1910 that had to be raised by London. An annual "Transferred Sum" mechanism was proposed to maintain spending in Ireland as it was.[5]

    The Bill was passed by the Commons by a majority of 10 votes in 1912 but the House of Lords rejected it 326 votes to 69 in January 1913. In 1913 it was reintroduced and again passed by the Commons but was again rejected by the Lords by 302 votes to 64. In 1914 after the third reading, the Bill was passed by the Commons on 25 May by a majority of 77. Having been defeated a third time in the Lords, the Government used the provisions of the Parliament Act to override the Lords and send it for Royal Assent.
    This thread obviously inspired by rebpreacher below.

  • #2
    There would still have abeen a degree of dissatisfaction. Splitting the island, while buying time, wouldn't have been the most popular move. There was a high probability the Ulstermen in the British army, and there were a few in senior positions, such as General French, would have revolted if any amount of home rule had been granted to Ireland. Whether this would have been moderated by excluding Ulster, I can't say.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
      There would still have abeen a degree of dissatisfaction. Splitting the island, while buying time, wouldn't have been the most popular move. There was a high probability the Ulstermen in the British army, and there were a few in senior positions, such as General French, would have revolted if any amount of home rule had been granted to Ireland. Whether this would have been moderated by excluding Ulster, I can't say.
      I would like to think that a reasonable compromise could have been arrived at with a Parliament being re-established in Dublin, and a separate legislature in Belfast- if needed.

      It has been suggested, I regret that I cannot cite the source, that had Gladstone's Home Rule Bill been passed some thirty years earlier, then Great Britain would have emerged as a sort of Dual Monarchy, like Austria-Hungary, with a common Foreign and Defense Policy but with internal Home Rule for Ireland.
      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
      Samuel Johnson.

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      • #4
        It is hard to imagine that independence and partition would have ended much differently if it had happened a few years ealier. Ireland would almost certainly still have had a civil war between Free Staters (the good guys) and Dev's die hards.

        Giving the six northern counties would almost certainly have satisfied the protestant population as they had no love for Dublin and the occupants of the other 26 counties.

        The Free State may have lost fewer men in WW1 though.
        What would Occam say?

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        • #5
          I would have loved to see Padraig Pearse as President. I see a different and free Ireland if he had.
          This bass guitar kills TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          • #6
            Hi

            Well given the OP scenario one of the obvious consequences would be the drop in Irish volunteers into the various British military arms, but more importantly the loss of the bases in Eire, used by the RN and later the USN to counter the UBoat threat.
            The loss of these bases in WW2 caused all many of problems and losses to the Britain/Allies and one can only imagine the losses that would have incurred if they were unavailable in WW1

            Regards
            "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

            "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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            • #7
              Hi Andy,

              Bigger U-boat impact of damage to US shipping could bring the US to war sooner?
              ------
              'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

              If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Andy H View Post
                Hi

                Well given the OP scenario one of the obvious consequences would be the drop in Irish volunteers into the various British military arms, but more importantly the loss of the bases in Eire, used by the RN and later the USN to counter the UBoat threat.
                The loss of these bases in WW2 caused all many of problems and losses to the Britain/Allies and one can only imagine the losses that would have incurred if they were unavailable in WW1

                Regards
                Actually if anything the impact on the British war effort would have been positive. There were Irish volunteers in ww2 after the war of independence, civil war and with an Irish government hostile to UK. With a supportive devolved administration in Dublin and no war of independence there would be at least as many if not more volunteers. Plus Home Rule (as opposed to independence) does not preclude British bases so I see no difference there.

                While ultimately Ireland would be fully independent the op scenario would have been a much more peaceful route.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                • #9
                  We of course can not know but one reason for the 1916 'rising' was the fear in 'republicans' that the 'Irish people' would be satisfied with the limited Home Rule and they would not get their complete 'revolutionary' split.

                  it could have been peaceful and perhaps in some sort of 'federal structure' perhaps Ireland would be a 32 county state today.

                  I don't see that Britain would have less volunteers in WWI from Ireland since the vast majority of the Irish volunteers did support the war and enlisted, eager to show that Britain had a loyal friend as a neighbour and the traditional English/British fear of Ireland as a base for invasion were unfounded.

                  I am not sure I would like to see Pearse in power he has been accused of being a 'proto-fascist' and a hopeless romantic. If you buy into the 'blood sacrifice' idea that helps to explain his bloody stupid plan, if you don't then you have to seriously question his competence.
                  Cymru am Byth

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                  • #10
                    Interesting comment Kevin. The 1916 rising probably was more directed to Irish people than at London
                    What would Occam say?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
                      Interesting comment Kevin. The 1916 rising probably was more directed to Irish people than at London
                      But it was London or rather the people of Britain that counted, they were the ones who would support or not! a British 'war' to keep Ireland in the Union.

                      While the enlistments in Ireland were lower in WWI than mainland Britain they were not low any still joined to fight (as they did in WWII) in large numbers.

                      The big problem that neither side could cope with was the Unionists, what do you do with them?

                      An Irish nationalist plan was to swop them with the population of Liverpool because of course all those Irish immigrants into the UK (a massive number) were desperate to return from terrible England--- it wasn't taken seriously.
                      Cymru am Byth

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                      • #12
                        I must be a hopeless dreamer as he was.
                        This bass guitar kills TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kevinmeath View Post
                          The big problem that neither side could cope with was the Unionists, what do you do with them?

                          An Irish nationalist plan was to swop them with the population of Liverpool because of course all those Irish immigrants into the UK (a massive number) were desperate to return from terrible England--- it wasn't taken seriously.
                          The Unionist question always was and always will be the sticking point. No matter how far you look into the future it is virtually impossible to see the unionists in the north accepting a union with Eire. There is probably also a reasonable sized minority of catholics in the six counties that would quitely vote to stay part of the UK if it ever came to it.
                          What would Occam say?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
                            The Unionist question always was and always will be the sticking point. No matter how far you look into the future it is virtually impossible to see the unionists in the north accepting a union with Eire. There is probably also a reasonable sized minority of catholics in the six counties that would quitely vote to stay part of the UK if it ever came to it.
                            The Nationalists 'great white hope' is that gradually (because catholics who tend to be nationalists) their numbers will push past 50% of the population because they tend to have larger families. Then a simple vote can be taken and the North becomes part of the republic.

                            Even then the Irish state has the problem of what to do about a sizeable minority who don't want to be in the state and who 'Irish tradition' has denied the existance of such 'Irish' people (the protesants that is).

                            However there is a bit of a 'spanner in the works' of the 50% idea. Catholic families are getting smaller and there are indications --newspaper polls etc-- that the simplistic Nationalist= Catholic and the Unionist=Protestant is breaking down. A recent survey found the majority of catholics would note vote to join the republic.

                            Also the biggest employer in the North is the British State, if a northern catholic voted for the 'Republic' he/she may well be voting themselves or loved ones out of a job.

                            If the Celtic Tiger was in full swing or had not been bungled the Republic may attractive but at the moments it not. Much play is made of the higher benefits in the South (they are being cut) but most realise that things like NHS and free education would go.

                            The scandals also don't help 'freedom' from London may mean being ruled by a corrupt/incompetent Dublin.

                            Limited self-rule within the UK and EU may appear more attrctive.
                            Cymru am Byth

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                            • #15
                              I think the old solid lines between Eire and London rule are nice and vague now.

                              Given that all sides are working well together in the North I can see a nice traditional fudge that allows everyone to feel comfortable.

                              At least that is what we can all hope for.

                              The change in the politics in the six counties is little short of brilliant. My fear is that once there is a generational change the old fictions will re-emerge and a new generation of sad kids will restart the whole horror. A conflict that foes back hundreds of years tends to be hard to stop.
                              What would Occam say?

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