"History is past politics, and politics present history." John Robert Seeley

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see." Winston Churchill

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle


Primary Source Documents: 1912 – 1949




Parliament Act (UK & IRL.)  (1911)

The Parliament Act of 1911 was significant in that it removed one of the greatest obstacles to Irish Home Rule – House of Lords’ Veto. With this alteration to the House of Lords’ power of veto over House of Commons’ Bills, the 3rd Home Rule Bill succeeded in 1912 where the previous two had failed. The veto was reduced to a ‘delay’ of 271 days.




Ulster Solemn League & Covenant (1912)

In response to the successful passage of the 3rd Home Rule Bill, Unionist concern grew to a height not seen since the 1870’s. Faced with an impending Home Rule situation, over 200,000 Unionists signed the Ulster Solemn League & Covenant declaring to do everything in their power to prevent Home Rule being implemented.



Proclamation of Irish Republic (1916)

In the midst of the confusion following the shelving of Irish Home Rule and the split in the Irish Volunteers, the Proclamation of the Irish Republic was declared on Easter Monday morning on the steps of the GPO by Padraig Pearse.





Declaration of Independence (1919)

After establishing the 1st Dáil Eireann, the members of the house issued a ‘Declaration of Independence’ to the free nations of the world. This was in defiance of British Rule in Ireland. Sinn Féin would also send a delegation to the Paris Peace Negotiations to make a claim for Ireland’s self-determination.





Government of Ireland Act (1920)

Fearing the over-run of Unionism by Dáil Eireann & Sinn Féin, the Unionist population of the Northern Six Counties sought to guarantee their position within the Commonwealth, protected from Home Rule or worse. The British hoped that a long-term strategy of two parliaments, north & south, would solve the incompatibility of the two diverse political groups. This act formally brought the Northern Ireland state into existence, with Stormont as its Parliament.






Anglo – Irish Treaty (1921)

Balfour Declaration (1926)

Statute of Westminster (1931)

External Relations’ Act (1936)

Bunreacht na hEireann (1937)
Emergency Powers’ Act (1939)
Republic of Ireland Act (1948)

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