Why Was Gladstone Unable to Win the Campaign for Home Rule in 1885 and Again in 1893? Essay

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Why was Gladstone unable to win the campaign for Home Rule in 1885 and again in 1893? Gladstone was unable to win the campaign for Home Rule in 1886 and again in 1893 mainly because of the strong Conservative opposition in the House of Lords. This feeling is exhibited by Source N when the 1886 Home Rule Bill failed at the first hurdle, the House of Commons, despite Parnell expressing that it is only a small proportion of Protestants that ‘sought to rekindle the…almost expiring embers of religious bigotry’ the MPs failed to be won over by his argument. The idea of distaste for Parnell is reinforced with the Unionism of Protestant Ireland indicating that because he was seen as a Fenian terrorist, giving into him would be giving into violence and untrustworthy methods like the Land league, a cover for Fenianism. Similarly Source K exhibits the hatred Ulster Unionists felt towards Home Rule as they ‘would resort to force’ to ensure their prosperity was not compromised by a terrorists wishes to become independent. The media displayed negative views to Parnell also, Source R indicates how publications like The Times linked Parnell to Fenianism, ‘series of articles on ‘Parnelism and Crime’. Being associated with Parnell made Gladstone’s struggle for Home Rule harder, perhaps the reasons the 1886 Bill failed both houses but the 1893 Bill made it through Common’s as Parnell’s involvement in Home Rule had dramatically decreased in the years beforehand. The split in the Liberal party meant internally the party had opposition indicating that while divided amongst themselves there was no chance to defeat the conservative dominated House of Lords. Overall numerous factors contributed to the downfall of both Bills but the main reason inevitably was the immediate rejection to the Bill by the Conservatives as it opposed what they believed so neither Parnell or Gladstone could

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