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Account For Changes In British Policy Towards Ireland Between 1914 And 1922. Why Did These Changes Fail To Satisfy The People Of Ireland?

2218 words - 9 pages

Britain's policies towards Ireland between 1914 and 1922 have gone through much change and continuity. Most of the Policies and attitudes the British Government either had or did not have at the time caused much conflict within Ireland and its citizens and against England.The Primary cause of this conflict was the Home Rule situation, both the Catholics and the Protestants generally agreed that Ulster should be separated from a self governing Ireland. The problem for the British Prime Minister, Asquith, as well as the leading Catholic and Protestant figures Redmond and Carson, was how to separate Ireland into Ulster and Ireland. This problem dissatisfied Ireland a great deal, neither side wanted to end up living under the 'wrong' government. Out of the nine counties in question the Catholic/Protestant majority was clear in all but two, Fermanagh and Tyrone, as there were as many Protestants as there were Catholics, thus making a decision on who to divide the counties to virtually impossible.Unrest in Ireland was diverted late in 1914 when World War One broke out, Britain's attention moved away from Ireland, both the Ulster Unionists and the Irish Nationalist Party volunteered to defend the shores of Ireland and conscript men to help with the war effort believing their efforts would not go unrewarded. Asquith did not let them down and put home rule on the statute book although it was not to be initiated until after the war, which although was not ideal, for Redmond and his supporters it was seen as a victory for the Nationalists, believing the war was not likely to last long. Despite this agreement, nothing actually changes in Ireland and the war appears to be never ending, the Irish people became increasingly disheartened calling the Home Rule Act 'a cheque continuously post-dated'1 The Nationalists were left without purpose as Home Rule had been won, although it had not yet been won. It also seemed that even with the war the English were still prejudice towards the southern Irish, as they were not promoted to officer and were not allowed their own corps which the Ulster unionists had. Redmond was losing support with many of it's members and this gave way to more extremist groups growing restless and increasingly irritated with the attitudes of Ireland.Between 1914 and 1916 there were two main groups who actively opposed Redmond's support for the war, they were James Connolly's Irish Citizen Army and Eoin MacNeill's Irish Volunteers. Both refused to conscript into the British Army, although neither intended on starting a rebellion unless the promise of Home Rule was broken. Despite this some members of the group who had grown restless by the seemingly never ending war and decided that the only way to get Home Rule for Ireland was to take it for themselves. It was then that they decided to start an uprising at Easter, the main figures in this were, Tom Clarke, Sean MacDermott, Patrick Pearse and James Connolly.After the rebellion public opinion...

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