A report on Home Rule Crisis

Edward Carson signing the Ulster Covenant, 1912.
Unionist march in Belfast, 9 April 1912

Political and military crisis in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland that followed the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in 1912.

- Home Rule Crisis
Edward Carson signing the Ulster Covenant, 1912.

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Ulster

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One of the four traditional Irish provinces.

One of the four traditional Irish provinces.

Ulster (coloured), showing Northern Ireland in pink and the Republic of Ireland part in green
A bronze statue commemorating The Flight of the Earls at Rathmullan in north County Donegal.
A modern Protestant mural in Belfast celebrating Oliver Cromwell and his activities.
Royal Avenue, Belfast. Photochrom print circa 1890–1900.
The results of the 1918 Irish general election, in which Sinn Féin and the Irish Parliamentary Party won the majority of votes on the island of Ireland, shown in the color green and light green respectively, with the exception being primarily in the East of the province of Ulster.
At White Park Bay
Countryside west of Ballynahinch
Mourne country cottage
The track of the County Donegal Railways Joint Committee (CDRJC) restored next to Lough Finn, near Fintown station.
The approach of autumn, Tardree forest

In the early 20th century, moves towards Irish self-rule were opposed by many Ulster Protestants, sparking the Home Rule Crisis.

Ulster Volunteers in Belfast, 1914

Ulster Volunteers

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Unionist, loyalist militia founded in 1912 to block domestic self-government for Ireland, which was then part of the United Kingdom.

Unionist, loyalist militia founded in 1912 to block domestic self-government for Ireland, which was then part of the United Kingdom.

Ulster Volunteers in Belfast, 1914
Ulster Volunteers in Belfast, 1914
Ulster Volunteer Force in 1914
A mural in Belfast showing four recipients of the Victoria Cross from the 36th (Ulster) Division, with the UVF logo in the middle

The Home Rule Crisis was interrupted by the First World War.

The Union Flag, Ulster Banner and Orange Order flags are often flown by loyalists in Northern Ireland

Ulster loyalism

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Strand of Ulster unionism associated with working class Ulster Protestants in Northern Ireland.

Strand of Ulster unionism associated with working class Ulster Protestants in Northern Ireland.

The Union Flag, Ulster Banner and Orange Order flags are often flown by loyalists in Northern Ireland
Ulster Volunteers in Belfast c.1914
Loyalist graffiti and banner on a building in a side street off the Shankill Road, Belfast (1970)
A UDA/UFF mural in Belfast
A UVF mural in Belfast
A loyalist marching band on The Twelfth, 2011

During the Home Rule Crisis (1912–14), loyalists founded the paramilitary Ulster Volunteers to prevent Ulster becoming part of a self-governing Ireland.

Political map of Ireland

Partition of Ireland

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The process by which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided Ireland into two self-governing polities: Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

The process by which the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland divided Ireland into two self-governing polities: Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

Political map of Ireland
Result in Ireland of the December 1910 United Kingdom general election showing a large majority for the Irish Parliamentary Party.
Ulster Volunteers marching in Belfast, 1914
Result of the 1918 general election in Ireland showing the dramatic swing in support for Sinn Féin
Catholic-owned businesses destroyed by loyalists in Lisburn, August 1920
Crowds in Belfast for the state opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament on 22 June 1921
Members of the Irish negotiation committee returning to Ireland in December 1921
North East Boundary Bureau recommendations May 1923
James Craig (centre) with members of the first government of Northern Ireland
The Boundary Commission's proposed changes to the border
A republican anti-partition march in London, 1980s

This led to the Home Rule Crisis (1912–14), when Ulster unionists/loyalists founded a paramilitary movement, the Ulster Volunteers, to prevent Ulster being ruled by an Irish government.

Hazards of separation from Great Britain. Unionist postcard (1912)

Unionism in Ireland

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Political tradition on the island of Ireland that favours political union with Great Britain and professes loyalty to the British Crown and constitution.

Political tradition on the island of Ireland that favours political union with Great Britain and professes loyalty to the British Crown and constitution.

Hazards of separation from Great Britain. Unionist postcard (1912)
Detail of the Battle of Ballynahinch 1798 by Thomas Robinson. Government Yeomanry prepare to hang United Irish insurgent Hugh McCulloch, a grocer.
1899 penny print of Henry Cooke's 1841 speech in "reply to Daniel O'Connell"
William Gladstone writing legislation under pressure from the Land League. Caricature 1881.
God Save the Queen, Erin Go Bragh, Ulster Unionist Convention, Belfast, 1892
Flag of the Congested Districts Board for Ireland, 1893–1907
Unionist march in Belfast, 9 April 1912
Signing the Ulster Covenant Declaration, "Ulster Day” 1912
An Orange Order banner showing Carson the signing of the Ulster Covenant 1912
The 1918 general election result in Ireland. Sinn Féin sweeps the south and west
The Coat of Arms of the Government of Northern Ireland used between 1924 and 1973
The statue of Lord Edward Carson in front of Parliament Buildings, Stormont
Anti-Faulkner Unionist election poster
Mural for the Red Hand Commando (UVF) which, uniquely, had an Irish-language motto, Lamh Dearg Abu (Victory to the Red Hand)
Campaign against the Anglo-Irish Agreement
Detail from 2015 Sinn Féin election flyer, North Belfast
The cross of St. Patrick superimposed on the Scottish Saltire with a six-county star, Red Hand of Ulster and no crown: the "Ulster national flag" variously employed by Loyalist groups to represent an independent, or distinctly Ulster-Scot, Northern-Ireland identity.
A flowchart illustrating all the political parties that have existed throughout the history of Northern Ireland and leading up to its formation (1889 onwards). Unionist parties are in orange.

Yet, at the height of the Home Rule Crisis in 1913, the British Labour Party had decided not stand against Irish Labour, and the policy of deferring to Irish parties was maintained after 1921.

Cartoon: British Liberal Party politicians are forced to endure the stink of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's "cigar" of Irish Home Rule. Former Prime Minister Lord Rosebery (left) and future Prime Minister H. H. Asquith (right) both regarded Home Rule as an electoral liability for the Liberals.

Irish Home Rule movement

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Movement that campaigned for self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Movement that campaigned for self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Cartoon: British Liberal Party politicians are forced to endure the stink of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's "cigar" of Irish Home Rule. Former Prime Minister Lord Rosebery (left) and future Prime Minister H. H. Asquith (right) both regarded Home Rule as an electoral liability for the Liberals.
Anti-Home Rule cartoon, 1891: it claims that Home Rule will bring economic benefits to middle class "patriots," but ruin to the peasantry.
Charles Stewart Parnell addressing a meeting
Gladstone at a debate on the Irish Home Rule Bill, 8 April 1886
Queensland Figaro and Punch cover, 16 March 1889, depicting Irish Australians offering enthusiastic support to Parnell's struggle for Home Rule.
The Home Rule Club, Kilkenny, founded in 1894
A sticker produced by Ulster loyalists to protest against Irish Home Rule {{efn|Sticker found glued on the inside of the cover of A History of the Siege of Londonderry ... as digitised by Internet Archive |undefined

After the removal of the Lords' veto in 1911, the Third Home Rule Bill was introduced in 1912, leading to the Home Rule Crisis.

The traditional counties of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

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Part of the United Kingdom that is variously described as a country, province, territory or region.

Part of the United Kingdom that is variously described as a country, province, territory or region.

The traditional counties of Northern Ireland
Cannon on the Derry city walls
Scrabo Tower, County Down
Signing of the Ulster Covenant in 1912 in opposition to Home Rule
Result of the 1918 general election in Ireland
Crowds in Belfast for the state opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament on 22 June 1921
The Coat of arms of Northern Ireland used between 1924 and 1973
James Craig (centre) with members of the first government of Northern Ireland
Opening of the Northern Ireland parliament buildings (Stormont) in 1932
Responsibility for Troubles-related deaths between 1969 and 2001
First Minister Ian Paisley (DUP) centre, and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin) left, and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond right in 2008
A flowchart illustrating all the political parties that have existed throughout the history of Northern Ireland and leading up to its formation (covering 1889 to 2020).
Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Belfast, seat of the assembly
Unionist mural in Belfast
ESA Sentinel-2 image of Northern Ireland
Köppen climate types of Northern Ireland
Lough Neagh
Hare's Gap, Mourne Mountains
The Giant's Causeway, County Antrim
Marble Arch Caves
Goliath crane of Harland & Wolff in Belfast
An NIR C3K railcar
2011 census: differences in proportions of those who are, or were brought up, either Catholic or Protestant/Other Christians
Map of predominant national identity in the 2011 census
Map of most commonly held passport
Approximate boundaries of the current and historical English/Scots dialects in Ulster. South to north, the colour bands represent Hiberno-English, South-Ulster English, Mid-Ulster English and the three traditional Ulster Scots areas. The Irish-speaking Gaeltacht is not shown.
Percentage of people aged 3+ claiming to have some ability in Irish in the 2011 census
Percentage of people aged 3+ claiming to have some ability in Ulster Scots in the 2011 census
An Orange march
The logo for the Northern Ireland assembly is based on the flower of the flax plant.
People carrying the Irish flag, overlooking those with the unionist Ulster Banner
George Best, Northern Irish international footballer and 1968 Ballon d'Or
Peter Canavan, Tyrone captain 2003
Prominent Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy
Queen's University Belfast
Broadcasting House, Belfast, home of BBC Northern Ireland

This sparked the Home Rule Crisis.

Seán Hogan's flying column of the IRA's 3rd Tipperary Brigade during the war

Irish War of Independence

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Guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army (IRA, the army of the Irish Republic) and British forces: the British Army, along with the quasi-military Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and its paramilitary forces the Auxiliaries and Ulster Special Constabulary (USC).

Guerrilla war fought in Ireland from 1919 to 1921 between the Irish Republican Army (IRA, the army of the Irish Republic) and British forces: the British Army, along with the quasi-military Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and its paramilitary forces the Auxiliaries and Ulster Special Constabulary (USC).

Seán Hogan's flying column of the IRA's 3rd Tipperary Brigade during the war
Result of the 1918 UK general election in Ireland
RIC and British Army personnel near Limerick, c.1920
West Connemara IRA flying column
Police wanted poster for Dan Breen, one of those involved in the Soloheadbeg Ambush in 1919.
Wall plaque in Great Denmark Street, Dublin where the Dublin IRA Active Service Unit was founded.
A group of RIC officers in 1917
Michael Collins
A group of "Black and Tans" and Auxiliaries in Dublin, April 1921
British soldiers and relatives of the victims outside Jervis Street Hospital during the military enquiry into the Bloody Sunday shootings at Croke Park
Aftermath of the burning of Cork by British forces
A crowd gathers at the Mansion House in Dublin in the days before the truce
Members of the Irish negotiation committee returning to Ireland in December 1921
The funeral of Michael Collins
St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, August 1922
Catholic-owned businesses destroyed by loyalists in Lisburn, August 1920.
Unionist leader James Craig.
The Lord Lieutenant inspecting troops outside Belfast City Hall on the day Northern Ireland's parliament first met.
A mural in Belfast depicting revenge killings by police in Belfast.
Irish republican internees at Ballykinlar Internment Camp 1920
The symbol of the Republic:
The Irish tricolour which dated back to the Young Ireland rebellion of 1848.
A symbol of British rule:
The standard of the Lord Lieutenant, using the union flag created under the Act of Union 1800.
Monument to IRA fighters in Phibsborough, Dublin
Soldiers of a British cavalry regiment leaving Dublin in 1922
Constance Markievicz was a member of the Irish Citizen Army and fought in the Easter Rising. In 1919 she was appointed Minister for Labour in the Government of the Irish Republic
Conflict deaths in Belfast 1920–1922.
50–100 deaths per km2
100–150 deaths per km2
over 150 deaths per km2

The demand for Home Rule was eventually granted by the British Government in 1912, immediately prompting a prolonged crisis within the United Kingdom as Ulster unionists formed an armed organisation – the Ulster Volunteers (UVF) – to resist this measure of devolution, at least in territory they could control.

Clockwise from the top: The road to Bapaume in the aftermath of the Battle of the Somme, 1916

British Mark V tanks crossing the Hindenburg Line, 1918

 sinking after hitting a mine in the Dardanelles, 1915

A British Vickers machine gun crew wearing gas masks during the Battle of the Somme, 1916

German Albatros D.III biplane fighters near Douai, France, 1917

World War I

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World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918.

World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918.

Clockwise from the top: The road to Bapaume in the aftermath of the Battle of the Somme, 1916

British Mark V tanks crossing the Hindenburg Line, 1918

 sinking after hitting a mine in the Dardanelles, 1915

A British Vickers machine gun crew wearing gas masks during the Battle of the Somme, 1916

German Albatros D.III biplane fighters near Douai, France, 1917
Rival military coalitions in 1914: Triple Entente in green; Triple Alliance in brown. Only the Triple Alliance was a formal "alliance"; the others listed were informal patterns of support.
, a, Germany's first response to the British Dreadnought
Sarajevo citizens reading a poster with the proclamation of the Austrian annexation in 1908
Traditionally thought to show the arrest of Gavrilo Princip (right), historians now believe this photo depicts an innocent bystander, Ferdinand Behr
Crowds on the streets in the aftermath of the anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo, 29 June 1914
Ethno-linguistic map of Austria-Hungary, 1910. Bosnia-Herzegovina was annexed in 1908.
Cheering crowds in London and Paris on the day war was declared.
Serbian Army Blériot XI "Oluj", 1915
German soldiers on the way to the front in 1914; at this stage, all sides expected the conflict to be a short one.
French bayonet charge during the Battle of the Frontiers; by the end of August, French casualties exceeded 260,000, including 75,000 dead.
World empires and colonies around 1914
The British Indian infantry divisions were withdrawn from France in December 1915, and sent to Mesopotamia.
Trenches of the 11th Cheshire Regiment at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, on the Somme, July 1916
Royal Irish Rifles in a communications trench, first day on the Somme, 1916
Dead German soldiers at Somme 1916
King George V (front left) and a group of officials inspect a British munitions factory in 1917.
Battleships of the Hochseeflotte, 1917
U-155 exhibited near Tower Bridge in London, after the 1918 Armistice
Refugee transport from Serbia in Leibnitz, Styria, 1914
Bulgarian soldiers in a trench, preparing to fire against an incoming aeroplane
Austro-Hungarian troops executing captured Serbians, 1917. Serbia lost about 850,000 people during the war, a quarter of its pre-war population.
Australian troops charging near a Turkish trench during the Gallipoli Campaign
Mehmed V greeting Wilhelm II on his arrival at Constantinople
Kaiser Wilhelm II inspecting Turkish troops of the 15th Corps in East Galicia, Austria-Hungary (now Poland). Prince Leopold of Bavaria, the Supreme Commander of the German Army on the Eastern Front, is second from the left.
Russian forest trench at the Battle of Sarikamish, 1914–1915
Isonzo Offensives 1915-1917
Austro-Hungarian trench at 3,850 metres in the Ortler Alps, one of the most challenging fronts of the war
Romanian troops during the Battle of Mărășești, 1917
Emperor Nicholas II and Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Nikolaevich in the captured Przemysl. The Russian Siege of Przemyśl was the longest siege of the war.
"They shall not pass", a phrase typically associated with the defence of Verdun
President Wilson asking Congress to declare war on Germany, 2 April 1917
The Allied Avenue, 1917 painting by Childe Hassam, that depicts Manhattan's Fifth Avenue decorated with flags from Allied nations
French infantry advance on the Chemin des Dames, April 1917
Canadian Corps troops at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, 1917
10.5 cm Feldhaubitze 98/09 and Ottoman artillerymen at Hareira in 1917 before the Southern Palestine offensive
British artillery battery on Mount Scopus in the Battle of Jerusalem, 1917. Foreground, a battery of 16 heavy guns. Background, conical tents and support vehicles.
Ottoman troops during the Mesopotamian campaign
French soldiers under General Gouraud, with machine guns amongst the ruins of a cathedral near the Marne, 1918
British 55th (West Lancashire) Division soldiers blinded by tear gas during the Battle of Estaires, 10 April 1918
Between April and November 1918, the Allies increased their front-line rifle strength while German strength fell by half.
Aerial view of ruins of Vaux-devant-Damloup, France, 1918
16th Bn (Canadian Scottish), advancing during the Battle of the Canal du Nord, 1918
An American major, piloting an observation balloon near the front, 1918
German Revolution, Kiel, 1918
Italian troops reach Trento during the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, 1918. Italy's victory marked the end of the war on the Italian Front and secured the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Ferdinand Foch, second from right, pictured outside the carriage in Compiègne after agreeing to the armistice that ended the war there. The carriage was later chosen by Nazi Germany as the symbolic setting of Pétain's June 1940 armistice.
The signing of the Treaty of Versailles in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28 June 1919, by Sir William Orpen
Greek prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos signing the Treaty of Sèvres
Dissolution of Austria-Hungary after war
Map of territorial changes in Europe after World WarI (as of 1923)
Czechoslovak Legion, Vladivostok, 1918
Transporting Ottoman wounded at Sirkeci
Emergency military hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed about 675,000 people in the United States alone, Camp Funston, Kansas, 1918
Tanks on parade in London at the end of World War I
A Russian armoured car, 1919
38-cm "Lange Max" of Koekelare (Leugenboom),the biggest gun in the world in 1917
A Canadian soldier with mustard gas burns, c. 1917–1918
British Vickers machine gun, 1917
The
Royal Air Force Sopwith Camel. In April 1917, the average life expectancy of a British pilot on the Western Front was 93 flying hours.
Luftstreitkräfte Fokker Dr.I being inspected by Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron.
Mobile radio station in German South West Africa, using a hydrogen balloon to lift the antenna
Austro-Hungarian soldiers executing men and women in Serbia, 1916
HMS Baralong
French soldiers making a gas and flame attack on German trenches in Flanders
Armenians killed during the Armenian Genocide. Image taken from Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, written by Henry Morgenthau Sr. and published in 1918.
German prisoners in a French prison camp during the later part of the war
British prisoners guarded by Ottoman forces after the First Battle of Gaza in 1917
Poster urging women to join the British war effort, published by the Young Women's Christian Association
Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps First Contingent in Bermuda, winter 1914–1915, before joining 1 Lincolnshire Regiment in France in June 1915. The dozen remaining after Guedecourt on 25 September 1916, merged with a Second Contingent. The two contingents suffered 75% casualties.
Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street) after the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin
The Deserter, 1916: Anti-war cartoon depicting Jesus facing a firing squad with soldiers from five European countries
Possible execution at Verdun at the time of the mutinies in 1917. The original French text accompanying this photograph notes, however, that the uniforms are those of 1914–15 and that the execution may be that of a spy at the beginning of the war.
Bolshevik leaders Lenin and Trotsky promised "Peace, Land and Bread" to the impoverished masses
Young men registering for conscription, New York City, 5 June 1917
Military recruitment in Melbourne, Australia, 1914
British volunteer recruits in London, August 1914
1917 political cartoon about the Zimmermann Telegram. The message was intercepted by the British; its publication caused outrage and contributed to the U.S. entry into World War I.
The Italian Redipuglia War Memorial, which contains the remains of 100,187 soldiers
A typical village war memorial to soldiers killed in World War I
A 1919 book for veterans, from the US War Department
Poster showing women workers, 1915
War memorial to soldiers of the 49th Bengalee Regiment (Bangali Platoon) in Kolkata, India, who died in the war.

Later the same day, Wilhelm was informed by his Ambassador in London, Prince Lichnowsky, that Britain would remain neutral if France was not attacked, and in any case might be stayed by a crisis in Ireland.

Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon

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British Liberal statesman and the main force behind British foreign policy in the era of the First World War.

British Liberal statesman and the main force behind British foreign policy in the era of the First World War.

Grey in 1895
Grey caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1903
Lord Grey of Fallodon
The Wyndham Sisters, by John Singer Sargent, 1899 (Metropolitan Museum)
Portrait of Sir Edward Grey by James Guthrie, circa 1924–1930.
Cover of Grey's Recreation, 1920

The British Cabinet were preoccupied with the crisis in Ulster, and Grey failed to realize the urgency of the situation, and chose to await further developments.