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Towards an Independent Ireland 1900 - 1922
Transcript of Towards an Independent Ireland 1900 - 1922
Political Groups in Early 20th Century Ireland
They wanted changes in the way Ireland was ruled. They wanted some form of self government with a parliament in Dublin
The Home Rule Party
The largest nationalist political group was the Irish Parliamentary Party or The Home Rule Party.
It was led by John Redmond and won 84 seats of 105 seats in Ireland in the 1910 general election.
Reasons for Home Rule
Home Rulers believed the British government did not understand Irish problems.
They wanted to protect Irish culture.
They said that a parliament in Dublin would rule Ireland better.
The Irish Republican Brotherhood
The IRB was a secret revolutionary organisation. Its members were also known as the Fenians. It organised a rising in Ireland in 1867. But by the early years of the 20th century it was a small organisation.
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to...
Understand the different political groups in early 20th century Ireland
At the beginning of early 20th century, Ireland as ruled from London.
Irish members of parliament sat the House of Commons and the House of Lords in Westminster.
It was here that laws for Ireland were passed.
In Ireland the Lord Lieutenant (viceroy) represented the king.
The Chief Secretary represented the British government.
This was the way Ireland had been ruleince the Act of Union 1800.
The two main political groups were the nationalists and the unionists.
Act of Union 1800
Can you remember when the Act of Union was brought in?
What was going on in Ireland at the time?
The father of Irish Republicanism was involved.....
What was Home Rule?
Home Rulers wanted self government for Ireland.
They wanted a parliament in Dublin to deal with internal Irish affairs, such as education.
The parliament in Westminster would be responsible for external affairs such as war and customs.
The British monarch would be King/Queen of Britain and Ireland.
Home Rulers beleived their goals could be achieved by peaceful means through an Act of parliament (a law) in Westminster.
They had support of one of the two major political parties in Britain - the Liberal Party.
The IRB followed the tradition of Wolfe Tone, who sought help from the French for a rebellion in the 1790's.
They wanted complete independence from Britain.
They wanted to establish a republic (a country without a monarch)
They believed that only physical force, or rebellion, would achieve this.
The IRB had links with the Irish in America. The IRB provided the leaders and planning for the 1916 Rising.
Arthur Griffith founded Sinn Fein in 1905.
Griffith was a journalist, he admired the Hungarians who won independence from Austria in 1860's. He wanted to use their methods to achieve his goals.
The party wanted a dual monarchy for Britain and Ireland .
It wanted to develop Irish industry by using tariffs (custom duties).
The goals would be achieved by parliamentary abstention, that is, Irish MP's would withdraw from the parliament in Westminster and set up their own parliament in Dublin.
They wanted to keep the system as it was, with a parliament in Westminster making laws for Ireland.
Unionists wanted to retain The Act of Union.
They had their own political party - The Unionist Party.
They wanted to maintain links with Britain.
The parliament at Westminster would continue to make laws for Ireland.
The British government and king would still have representatives based in Dublin.
Unionists were scattered throughout Ireland, but the majority lived in the North East especially in the counties of Antrim and Down.
Their party had twenty one seats in parliament, most of them in Ulster.
Their leaders were Edward Carson and James Craig.
Carson was a Dublin born lawyer, he was an outstanding speaker, Craig was a Northern industrialist.
The other large political party in Britain was the Conservative Party, they supported the Unionists.
They believed Home Rule was a threat to the unity of the British Empire.
Reasons for Unionism
Protestants made up 25 per cent of the population. They believed that Catholics would discriminate against them under Home Rule. They used the slogan 'Home Rule is Rome Rule.'
Belfast's industries were prosperous because their markets were in Britain. Unionist's feared that a nationalist dominated parliament would bring in laws which would hurt Belfast's industry.
Ireland went through a cultural revolution at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
A number of organisations and movements promoted the idea of an Irish Ireland or Gaelic Ireland.
The Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in 1884 by Michael Cusack and Maurice Davin to promote gaelic games.
The Gaelic League was founded in 1893 by Eoin Mac Neill and Douglas Hyde to promote the use of the Irish language and to de-anglicise Ireland.
The Anglo Irish Literary movement promoted Irish literature in the English language using Irish folktales and history. A key figure was W.B. Yeats.
Even though these were not political groups they influenced the political thinking of many people.