Section 4: The Home Rule Crisis

The 3rd Home Rule Bill was introduced in 1912. Home Rule promised a parliament in Dublin where Irish politicians could make laws for the country. Under Home Rule, Ireland would remain part of the British Empire and the monarch would be head of state. There had been opposition to previous Home Rule bills but the Liberal government, which had needed the support of the pro-Home Rule Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) to remain in government, had made changes to the House of Lords to ensure that the bill would be passed into law in 1914. Irish Unionists, especially in Ulster, opposed Home Rule and by 1912 were organising a large scale campaign against home rule. In 1912 the ‘home rule crisis’ resulted in the production of propaganda material (posters, advertisements) by both sides. Ulster Unionist opposition to Home Rule culminated in the signing of the Ulster Covenant by hundreds of thousands of people on ‘Ulster Day’, 28 September 1912. In Downpatrick over 1100 men signed the Ulster Covenant after a service at Downpatrick Cathedral.


 

Image A is a souvenir plate showing the Irish Parliamentary Party leader, John Redmond.

Image B is a souvenir plate showing the Unionist leader, Edward Carson.
 
Image C is a postcard produced by those in favour of Home Rule.

What is the Act of Union that the postcard is referring to ?

What other Act of Union do you know about ?

How will Home Rule be an act of union that satisfies both Ireland and Britain ?

Do you think this postcard has been produced by those in favour of complete independence for Ireland ? Give reasons for your answer

What images does the postcard use to convey its message ?
How effective is this postcard as a piece of propaganda ?
 
Image D is a postcard produced by those opposed to Home Rule.
 
Looking at the postcard can you list three negative consequences for Downpatrick if Home Rule is introduced ?

What are the economic consequences of Home Rule that the postcard shows ?

What are the social consequences ?

What are the political consequences ?

What images does the postcard use to convey its message ?
How effective is this postcard as a piece of propaganda ?
 
Image E is a newspaper report of the growing opposition to Home Rule among people in Ulster. The report refers to 1000 men marching on the Mall in Downpatrick, outside the old gaol (where the museum is now), to show their opposition to Home Rule.

What sort of message are these men sending to the government ?

Describe the atmosphere you think there was in Downpatrick at this time ?
 
Image F is a copy of the covenant signed in Downpatrick
For those signing the covenant how might Home Rule be ‘subversive of our civil and religious freedom’ ?

How might it be ‘perilous to the unity of the Empire’ ?

How might it be ‘disastrous to the material well being of Ulster’ ?
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  • Image C
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