In considering the process of change in the relationship between Ireland and Great Britain between 1801 and 1921, how far can the 1886 Home Rule Bill be seen as a key turning point?

1917 Words Feb 3rd, 2014 8 Pages
In considering the process of change in the relationship between Ireland and Great Britain between 1801 and 1921, how far can the 1886 Home Rule Bill be seen as a key turning point?

In 1815 Ireland was part of the union though by 1921 it was partitioned. The years in between saw group and individual efforts in trying to change the relationship between Ireland and Great Britain. Parnell’s campaign for Home Rule is seen as a key turning point that potentially was the most important kick starting change within the union.

1886 was undoubtedly a turning point as it gave hope for ‘both a just and feasible solution to the problem of the Irish government’. In 1886 the Liberal Party Prime Minister of the UK, William Gladstone, decided that
…show more content…
The famine and the failure and death of Daniel O’ Connell was also important in paving the way for more extreme Irish Nationalists such as Young Ireland and The Fenian brotherhood who believed change within the union would come through republican methods.

It might be expected that the famine while seen by many Irishmen as a failure of the Union, would lead to a decline in constitutional methods and create more support for extreme nationalist movements. In the short term, this was not the case as Ireland fell in to apathy and it seemed ‘the most dramatic consequence of the Great famine was on the population of Ireland’. Although the Irish people would never forgive the British Government for the neglect they showed in the times of the Great Famine, a significant result of the decrease in population was the development of balanced farming, a rise in living standards and larger farms. This meant that a lot of the middle class farming population became more interested in demands over land rather than separating from the Union.

However, people who had emigrated from Ireland during the famine took their hatred of Britain and the Union with them and there was a rise of a politically influential Irish community in the US which saw the Fenian movement arising throughout America as well. Therefore the Famine ‘became a central feature in the operational mythologies of Irish nationalism’ and although the group never managed any real successes in

Related Documents