Account for Changes in British Policy Towards Ireland Between 1914 and 1922. Why Did These Changes Fail to Satisfy the People of Ireland?

Essay by Buffalo_kikiCollege, UndergraduateB, March 2003

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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...