“Prepared to Make Great Sacrifices”: Reactions to Home Rule, July 1911–1914
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This chapter examines expectations for and reactions to the Third Home Rule Bill. Many nationalists thought this measure would embody “colonial” or “dominion” status, the widest self-government within the British Empire, and its failure to do so caused considerable disappointment. The Irish Parliamentary Party contained this opposition, but never addressed the fact that many nationalists did not consider the Home Rule Bill an ideal form of government. British and Irish unionists conducted a strident opposition campaign. They insisted their goal was to defeat the Bill entirely but supported an amendment to exclude part of Ulster. Ulster unionists’ bellicose rhetoric, their anti-home rule Covenant, and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) were designed to coordinate their own community and impress British voters.