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What where the main features of Liberal Policies towards Ireland between 1906-1914.

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Introduction

What where the main features of Liberal Policies towards Ireland between 1906-1914 In my opinion, in order for us to thoroughly understand the pre-eminent features of Liberal policies towards Ireland during 1906-1914, firstly we need to appreciate the importance of context and how preceding events helped shape the Liberal policies towards Ireland during that period. Although the question focuses on the period 1906-1914, it would, in my opinion be both unwise and inadequate to focus solely on this era. This is why within my essay I intend not only to define the prominent features of Liberal policies towards Ireland between 1906-1914, but also consider the influence of past events in erecting a 'framework' for many of the features offered in the Liberal policies. Towards the end of 18th century, Ireland was filled with an air of perplexity. In 1791, the formation of the SUI (Society of United Irishmen) through leader Wolfe Tone, advocated ideas of Ireland becoming a 'Self-governing democratic republic'. Although its 'Non-religious' ethos and clear acceptance of both Catholics and Protestants within its community did raise some level of confusion amongst the Irish people. Notably, the 1798 Irish rebellion resulted in a disconnection of opinion amongst Irish Protestants, who became inclined to choose between the 'Orange lodge', protestants who where indifferent to British Rule and the 'SUI'. Irish nationalists vented a strong desire for dissolution and during the rising expressed anger towards the Irish Protestants. ...read more.

Middle

In 1893, the Bill had looked destined to succeed as it completed its morale boosting passage through the commons, yet unfortunately it was the domineering majority in the House of Lords that killed off all hope of total completion. The Bill lost out overwhelmingly 419 votes to 41. However, the rejection had helped reveal where the obvious difficulty for the Gladstonians lay. The House of Lords had an 'In-built' Unionists majority which made the refusal of the Bill a lot easier. In reality, the Unionists threat of playing 'Orange card' was not necessary as long as this remained the case. The Irish Unionists did however find the very fact that the Gladstonians were prepared still 'offer' their support to Home Rule more intimidating. Perhaps we can relate England's hardened 'step-up' in their attitudes to the SUI and Irish Catholics to the Irish Unionists treatment of the Home Rule Bill. The Unionists worked hard to consolidate their forces and develop well-organised resistance to the Bill. Quite simply, the Unionists needed to outweigh the Gladstonians. Connections between the Southern Unionists and Conservatives 'on the mainland' helped create a much closer network. Propaganda was illuminated in Great Britain on behalf of the Ulster Unionist cause. In Southern Ireland, towards the end of the century, there was as many as 250,000 Unionists. The crisis had remained dormant for quite sometime after the defeat second time round. ...read more.

Conclusion

The government where cautious in not using the British Army to take military action against the UVF, as this may weaken the governments chances of negotiation. However, on the night of 24-25 April 1914, the UVF did manage to complete a successful 'gun-running' operation. More than 20,000 rifles and several million rounds of ammunition were shipped in from Germany for the UVF. The UVF's blatant ignorance to the ban, that had been imposed on importing arms, had left a bitter impact on Nationalists. In contrast, Irish volunteers who later shipped in weapons to Ireland, were stopped by police who, supported by British troops had attempted to seize them. The difference in treatment that both experienced intensified relations between the two. By the Summer of 1914, once again control had changed. The power lied amongst the UVF, who were both well armed and in a position of strength in Ulster. In 1912, the government rather naively had dismissed the threat of the Unionists. The summer of 1914 proved how sedulous and determined, the Unionists had become. Their demands where being treated with much seriousity. Although the Unionists by this time had achieved recognition as a respected force within government, it became increasingly acceptable to Carson that the fight against Home Rule was gradually slipping out of their hands. This was exemplified through his reduction in demands (i.e. six of the nine counties of Ulster) should remain permanently excluded from Home Rule. He and his supporters would go no further than this settlement. ...read more.

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