The year 1912 was a significant year for Irish History. It was the people of Ireland’s wish for self determination, to attain equality along with a decent standard of living and better working conditions, which among others, were contributing factors to the rebellion of 1916. Home rule was the demand for an Irish Government or parliament to rule in Ireland. An act called The Act of Union had been passed in the 1800s which meant that Ireland was not allowed to have their own parliament in Ireland and any MPs that were elected to represent Ireland had to go to Westminster and sit with English, Welsh and Scottish MPs in a parliament that represented all of the British Empire.In 1870 Isaac Butt put forward a federal solution called Home Rule. This was the start of the Home Rule movement that continued on until 1914. In 1873 Isaac Butt set up the Home Rule League and the Home Rule Confederation of Britain. In the 1874 election the Home Rule Party won 59 out of 105 seats in Westminster. There was many problems within this party though, there was no central organisation and Isaac Butt, its leader, was often absent. Two years later Charles Stewart Parnell joined the party. He was elected leader of the Home Rule Confederation. In 1880 he was then elected as leader of the Home Rule Party. He then persuaded Liberals to join the Home Rule Party. When he died in 1891, John Redmond was elected as the new leader. Yet they won only 9 sets in the general election. In 1893 the second Home Rule bill was brought in, this was passed in the House of Commons but was defeated in the House of Lords. In 1900 Redmond was leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. The Irish Council Bill was brought in by Liberals in 1906 but the Lord’s vetoed. The Liberals then brought in the Parliament Act in 1911, this ended the veto power of the Lords so that they could only delay a bill by two years.This brings us to the Home Rule Movement in 1912.In March 1912 there was a Home Rule meeting of over 200,000 people at the GPO in O’Connell Street. In April 1912 the third Home Rule Bill was introduced to the House of Commons. This was great news for the people of Dublin and John Redmond. The Unionists hated this. Over 250000 Orangemen met at the Balmoral Showground in Belfast to declare that they would not accept Home Rule under any circumstances. Arthur Griffith and other Sinn Fein delegates also opposed the Home Rule Bill. He felt that the bill offered Ireland insufficient independence. The Home Rule Bill was accepted in May. Asquith came to Dublin in July of that year. He made a speech were he criticised the Unionist demands for a referendum. This resulted in over 13000 Unionists meeting at Blenheim Palace for a Unionist Rally. Bonar Law, who was the leader of the Conservative party made a speech. In this speech he stated how he was against the Home Rule Bill and suggested support for armed resistance.On the 28th September, nearly 500,000 men and women went to Belfast City Hall to sign the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant. This purpose of this was to resist Home Rule. 237,368 men signed the Covenant and 234,046 women signed the Declaration. This was a pledge to use all means to defend themselves. This meant that they were prepared to fight in order to resist Home Rule.  Sir Edward Carson was the first person to sign this Covenant. This day is now known as Ulster Day. The Unionists then thought of a better way to show their opposition. In December 1912 the Ulster Volunteer Force was formed to defend Ulster by force. The nationalist responded by setting up the Irish Volunteers, a year later, to ensure Home Rule would be implemented. Although we didn’t get Home Rule in 1912, it had to be introduced in 1914. The bill had been passed in the House of Commons and because of the Parliament Act the House of Lords could only delay the bill from coming into effect by two years. This meant that Home Rule had to come into effect in 1914, which it did. On September 18th 1914 the Home Rule Bill became finally Law after 44 years.After 42 years of trying to succeed in achieving Home Rule, 1912 had to be one of the most successful years of the Home Rule Movement.Although the Home Rule Movement had been a huge part of 1912, at the same time social and working conditions were very bad in Ireland. Throughout this year many people were trying to make a change to these conditions. People were living in horrible living conditions in tenement houses with up to 50 people living in one room. A report from the Dublin Citizens’ Association Committee on Housing says,


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