BUTT, PARNELL AND THE EARLY YEARS OF HOME RULE
4.1 Gladstone’s Reforms and the Start of Home Rule
Gladstone and Ireland the early years.
No HR party until 1873 so Liberals appreciated Catholic and Presbyterian vote in Ireland. Liberal MPs drew Gladstone’s attention to:
Privileged position of C of I
1868 Gladstone became PM. ‘My mission…’
1870 Gladstone’s First Land Act (made Ulster Custom law where it existed and made landlords compensate for unjust evictions but did not address fair rent) was the first attempt to redress the balance. Gladstone’s reforms did not make Irish content. Landlords, tenants, Fenians, Catholics and Anglicans still upset.
Had defended Fenians though broke.
Helped get an amnesty from Gladstone for some Fenians. Many were concerned about ill treatment (O Donovan Rossa). So he was popular 1870 Butt set up Home Government Association, a pressure group of the discontented to look for HR. A very loose and mixed group, it did not have the support of hierarchy as Butt was a protestant and Fenians were involved. Liberals were promising funding for catholic education. He also set up the Home Rule Confederation in the UK to organise Irish emigrants to support HR.
1871 Gladstone released the rest of the Fenians (exiled for rest of sentence) New constitution. Charles Kickham was first president of the Supreme Council. He was opposed to cooperation with HR. Another Fenian, Joseph Biggar was for HR as was most ordinary Fenians.
The Irish Abroad
Blamed British for Famine and supported exiled Fenian, John Devoy and Clan na Gael. Money.
The Home Rule League 1873.
1872 Secret Ballot Act and rejection by hierarchy of Gladstone’s education reforms provided the opportunity to turn the Home Gov Ass into a political party. Aims:
Aid for Catholic schools
1874 general election 59 elected. Very good but many were unhappy...
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