May 24, 2005

Irish Disagreements Part 1 – The Home Rule Movement Is Born

Yeah yeah, with that title this entry could be about anything really. We are a test case in how to breed a race which values indignation as a moajor character trait. Hell, I'm a wonderful distillation, half Irish half Scouse. Everything makes me indignant, my high horse is so high if I were to fall I'd flatten major cities such would be my velocity when I hit the ground*. And with that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, I am presenting to you…

Ireland Between 1880 and 1914.

Trust me, you'll be crying with frustration very shortly.

In 1800 the British had one of their periodic bright ideas of unity and stuff, and decided to make Ireland a part of Britain itself, rather than an argumentative self-governing place. In part this was because of the rebellions. The other part was, of course, the rebellions. Ireand was made up of Catholics and Protestants. Britain told them to shut up and behave. Life would be easier if they had.

So for a while this was fine because the rule in Ireland is that the indignation must be allowed to grow.

By the 1860s the Catholics were really quite indignant. They wanted to be ruled from Dublin. This does not mean they wanted to be independent. They just wanted to be ruled from an Irish city but still under the British monarchy. A group dedicated to getting home rule was formed and it called itself the Home Government Association. Catchy. It was formed by a man called Butt in 1870. Jokes ahoy!

Naturally some of the Protestants didn't like this. But then again the Protestants didn't like a lot of things, like the Catholics. And in turn the Catholics were not always keen on the Protestants, although to be fair the Protestants had come from a foreign country and taken over much of the land. Centuries earlier. The Irish have long memories.

Anyway, the British had done their usual trick of completely ignoring what was going on until the 1874 general election when Butt's party obliterated both Liberal and Tory at the polls. Then they paid attention.

But Butt (hahaha) didn't have much time to do stuff and become a hero because he soon lost his job. He mimsied around and not a lot happened, so a member of his party called Charles Stuart Parnell decided to take inspiration from a seven-year-old child and refuse to let parliament play pass any laws until there was Home Rule. It is an indictment of politics that Butt's vague but gentlemanly fannying around got no where but Parnell's stroppiness got him into power in the Home Rule party.

Parnell was, like Butt, another Protestant. The Home Rule movement was not just Catholics. But there was a pattern. It was popular in parts of Ireland which weren't Ulster.

Ominous rumble of thunder representing the impending approach of history.

Oh god, now this entry is getting melodramatic.

In 1880 Gladstone got back into power. Parnell made himself popular by abandoning his obstructiveness and attaching the Home Rule movement to those who were calling for reform of the land in Ireland which was owned by a small number of people. This was a result of the famine, as was the desire amongst the poor to own some of this land.

Things were hotting up. Gladstone wasn't allergic to Home Rule like Disraeli's Conservatives were. Parnell was charismatic and popular and didn't have a name that school boys could snigger at easily. The Conservatives jumped on the Home Rule bandwagon. It was all going well.

Remember what we said earlier about the rules of Irish history. If it's going well now, give it five minutes and it will all fall apart. And it did.

Part 2 coming soon.

*If any scientists post anything about terminal velocity and the inaccuracy of my rhetoric I will a) get indignant and b) find you and rub salad on your face. Rough salad.


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  1. Oooh, saying something about terminal velocity does sound tempting. But rough salad doesn't sound that nice. Although Holly probably won't recognise me, despite the fact that I literally almost ran into her earlier today, I think I'll keep quiet and hopefully avoid salad of any kind.

    24 May 2005, 23:05

  2. Gordon R

    Stop Holly stop. This mixed irish history is bringing out the protestant work ethic in me – must write my presentation by tomorrow morning, along with the catholic guilt in me – but I've spent all night watching morris dancers down the road and drinking wine. There's just no hope!

    24 May 2005, 23:14

  3. As I'm not a scientist, am I allowed to say something about terminal velocity and inaccurate rhetoric? ;) Anyway, you know what they say about the Irish question; as soon as the English find an answer, the Irish change the question.

    25 May 2005, 00:41

  4. Gordon R

    Ohhhh Holly! Answer that one! (if you can??)

    25 May 2005, 00:50

  5. There's no need to answer that one, it's true! Britain and Ireland made (continue to make) the worst couple ever. Parnell changed his mind about what he wanted loads, so did de Valera, Collins, loads of people. Hence why my revision is slowly driving me crazy (lacking any Protestant ancestors I have no work ethic, only Catholic guilt).

    25 May 2005, 08:05

  6. Have you thought about doing a 1066 and All That style collection? I love these entries.

    25 May 2005, 08:24

  7. After reading that paragraph, I really don't need to say anything about terminal velocity, it's glaringly obvious.

    Maybe I should run now before the salad catches up with me…?

    25 May 2005, 08:45

  8. Gordon R

    Ahh, the guilt. It gets to you every time.

    25 May 2005, 14:24

  9. For those scientists who are about to explode with all their knowledge, I give you permission to post the terminal velocity of salad. Aren't I nice?

    25 May 2005, 18:22

  10. Gordon R

    hello Holly. don't want you feeling left out now…....... come join the party

    26 May 2005, 14:26

  11. Parties? What is it with people having parties when I cannot attend? Alas my friends and housemates are going out tonight, Gordon and co. are having parties on campus (woo, Learning Grid fun), my mum is off to Liverpool to celebrate with the other Scousers… Go on Dave tCB, have a party as well. Everyone else is.

    Collapses into revision addled heap.

    26 May 2005, 15:25

  12. Gordon R

    Ach shame. Well it wasn't really a party, just a virtual one. I've left that place now and am hidden away somewhere else.anyways, when we meet we'll have a real party.

    26 May 2005, 16:15

  13. Dave tCB

    Party-free zone here as well Holly. I'm going to a wedding tomorrow though complete with ceilidh band. BYOB so my bottle of Glenlivet will be emptied. Advance apologies if I post on Saturday night although an alcohol/dance induced stupor is more likely.

    27 May 2005, 16:01

  14. Cheers for the periodic history lessons Hol, generally more informative than every stage of taught history I've experienced.

    They actually talk about what happened and when it did so.

    27 May 2005, 18:31

  15. muckish

    Do you by any chance know the exact quote (i think it was by Disraeli) that goes something along the lines of: "As soon as you find an answer to the Irish problem, the Irish change the question" and when and in what context Disraeli said it? Sorry-i'm really unfamilliar with how exactly you get back to me on this, whether you post an answer here, or e-mail me, but then again i am a mountain.

    13 Oct 2005, 10:16


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