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"Why were Ulster Unionists so determined to resist home rule for Ireland in the period 1895 - 1914?"

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Introduction

Matthew Pitt L6W 26/1/2003 "Why were Ulster Unionists so determined to resist home rule for Ireland in the period 1895 - 1914?" The Ulster Unionists were first set up in 1885 to oppose the introduction of the First Home Rule bill in (march) 1886, as it would provide a focus for opposition to the bill. Ulster had many differences to the rest of Ireland, but they were not only religious (The Catholic north and Protestant south) and political differences, economic terms between Ulster and the rest of Ireland differed completely as Ulster was industrial and the rest of Ireland was mainly agricultural. Throughout the period between 1895 - 1914 although only one home rule bill was made, the relations between Ulster and the rest of Ireland deteriorated. Ulster was different to the rest of Ireland in three main ways; Religiously, Politically and Economically. Ireland was divided into Catholics and Protestants, and at the time the difference between them was 2,100,000 in favour of the Catholics. This was where the problem lay for Ulster. It was a Protestant area and if Home Rule was passed the Ulstermen believed that the out numbered Protestants would suffer at the hands of Catholics. ...read more.

Middle

them with everything they needed to produce goods efficiently and at not too high a price, therefore if the Home Rule occured then the economy in Ulster would fail along with its political and religious aspects. In 1906 when the Liberal party won power, The ulster Unionists had to increase pressure as well as their own party, because now the Liberals, who wanted to impose home rule, were in power they had more potential power themseleves. And although the Irish Question was seen as lesser problem now, it still meant the Ulster Unionists had to become stronger, as by 1910 it would eventually it was a main concern of the Liberals because the conservatives had gained an extra seat and they themsleves had lost two, so the conservatives had slighty more power in the house of Lords and therefore would push for Home Rule for Ireland, so the Liberals had to listen, as the parliament act stopped them from refusing to pass the bill again. And when the Parliament act became law in 1911 it meant that Ulster had to be extremely determined to fight Home Rule. The Ulster Unionists began preparing to resist the thrid Home Rule Bill as soon as the Parliament act became law, this resistance ...read more.

Conclusion

This showed grit from the Unionists and proved how they were not going to give up until Home Rule was abandoned, and this grit was sustained until and throughout the first world war. Ulster was a completely different place when compared to Southern Ireland. It was religiously, politcally and economically different to the rest of Ireland, which made it seem as if it was not part of Ireland at all, and it did not want to be. It had to remain so determined to resist Home Rule because if it did not then it would not be able to carry on running as it was currently doing. The industry relied on Britain, and without Britains support it could not prosper. It was the only manily Protestant area of Ireland, as Southern Ireland was mainly Catholic, which meant if home rule became law the greater number of Catholics in Ireland (about 2 million more Catholics) would 'rule' over the protestants ("home rule means rome rule"). And as it was a Conservative/Unionist area it would be predominately run by the Irish Nationalist Party. All of these factors meant that the Ulster Unionists had to be determined to resist home rule, because if they laid down then it would bring about the downfall of not only the Unionsts, but the Conseravties and the whole of Ulster itself ...read more.

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