- Количество слайдов: 25
Lecture 8: Unionism
Nine counties of Ulster
Why was Ulster different? • Experienced more extensive migration from Britain • Religious difference • Economic development: export-based linen & shipbuilding industries – Ulster had more in common with Merseyside and Clyneside than with the rest of Ireland • Ulster’s Protestants: not truly British, could not completely reject their Irishness • Two Irelands
‘In the decade before the outbreak of the Great War in Europe the United Kingdom experienced its most severe crisis in modern times. Around the constitutional struggle over the reform of the House of Lords, and the political struggle over Irish Home Rule, welled up more diffuse but no less serious conflicts over the rights of workers and women. The word ‘crisis’ may have been over-used in this century, but at the time many people had a sense that the simultaneous eruption of these multiple conflicts was more than a coincidence…The intensity of Unionist resistance to Home Rule was heightened by this sense of general crisis. ’ Townshend, Charles, Ireland: the 20 th Century, p 52.
Front cover of a programme for a Unionist demonstration What is unionism? A belief in the constitutional connection between Britain and Ireland. Unionism as an organised movement dates from the home rule crisis of 1885 -6. Formal Irish unionist organization emerged in 1885 -6 in the wake of a revitalized Orangeism and Conservatism which represented a reaction to the Land War.
Unionist Objectives • To preserve the union between Britain and Ireland • Unionist leaders aimed to create a strong, united and disciplined movement to convince the British government that Ireland should not be granted Home Rule
Supporters of Unionism • Institutions: Irish Tories, the Orange Order, the Church of Ireland (Anglican church) • Social groups: landed and commercial capital, the southern gentry, Belfast industrialists, small-town Orange brokers, metropolitan Tories and imperialists.
Tactics • The period 1885 -1914 was a time of confident opposition for Irish Unionists • Confident that they would defeat the Home Rule movement • Two options in opposing home rule: constitutional methods or physical force. • Hoped that constitutional methods would be sufficient in staving off the home rule threat.
• Irish Protestants made up 25% of the population of Ireland. • 1911: 890, 880 Protestants in Ulster • Protestants made up only 57 per cent of the 9 county province of Ulster. • Concentrated in certain parts of certain counties, particularly Antrim, Armagh, Down and Londonderry • A compact community covering all social classes • Independent of their Catholic neighbours
Southern Unionists • Two main strands within unionism: southern unionism & northern Unionism • Southern unionists: 250, 000 at most • Southern unionists: primarily landed and Anglican • Southern unionists provided financial & organisational direction to unionists in all parts of Ireland • Southern unionism went into decline during and after the Edwardian period
Unionist fears • Economic prosperity of the north-east might be undermined • Unionists had a lot to lose – power, privilege, land, livelihood • ‘Home Rule is Rome Rule’ • Catholic democratic rule distasteful
Orange Order • Played an important part in the emergence of organised unionist response to home rule. • Mid 1880 s, before unionism became organised, the Orange Order provided the only credible basis for loyalist opposition to both the Land League and the National league. • Orangeism united members of the Church of Ireland Presbyterians • In 1879 and 1880 when the Land League began to make inroads into Ulster, even among some Protestant farmers, the Orange Order provided the predominant loyalist response.
Unionist response to Home Rule • First HR Bill (1886) • Unionists were illprepared • Their organisation was rudimentary • Sectarian riots in Belfast: 32 people died
Unionist response to Home Rule • Second HR Bill (1893) • Unionist leaders better prepared • Unionist Clubs formed • Central Council elected to co-ordinate opposition accross the province
Unionist Organisations • Initially attempted to unite all Irish opponents of HR in a single national movement – the attempt failed • Unionists in Ulster & unionists in the other 3 provinces organised themselves separately • 1885: Southern unionists were organised into the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union (ILPU) • 1891: ILPU becomes the Irish Unionist Alliance (IUA) •
Unionist Organisations • From 1886 onwards Ulster unionists developed a series of organisations • Ulster Unionist Council (UUC): the most enduring • UUC formed in 1904 -5 • UUC: 200 delegates from all 9 Ulster counties • It elected a 30 man standing committee for day to day administration • A permanent staff of full time officials also appointed • UUC: a permanent organisation separate from all other Irish unionist organisations
Unionist response to Home Rule • Third HR Bill (191214) • Mass political mobilisation • Ulster Solemn League and Covenant signed on Ulster Day 1912 • UVF founded
Sir Edward Carson (1854 -1935) ‘We must be prepared…the morning Home Rule passes, ourselves to become responsible for the government of the Protestant Province of Ulster’
Interior of Ulster Hall and a scene outside on eve of Covenant Day
Carson signing Solemn League and Covenant
Souvenir copy of Women’s Declaration The wording of the Declaration which women signed differed from that of the Covenant. It allowed women, "to associate with the men of Ulster in their uncompromising opposition to the Home Rule Bill now before Parliament".
Waiting for guns at Bangor 24 April 1914
Carson inspecting the Ulster Volunteers c. 1913
Irish Volunteers • Irish (National) Volunteers founded November 1913 • IRB heavily involved • Modelled on UVF • Enrolled twice as many men as the UVF • John Redmond as leader Irish Volunteer, Robert Erskine Childers