Irish Home Rule and Constitutional Reform in the British Empire, 1885-1914
23 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2019
Date Written: February 22, 2019
This article examines the meaning of Irish “home rule” as a constitutional experiment and its relationship with other proposals for constitutional change in the British Empire of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The concept of Irish home rule was seen as a major constitutional experiment and the United Kingdom had little experience of devolution or federal settlements. This article will examine the model that was finally selected for this constitutional experiment which was inspired by the constitution of the Dominion of Canada. The article will also examine the relationship between Irish home rule and other constitutional experiments. These included proposals to create a federal United Kingdom, a concept known as “home rule all round” and even a federal British Empire, a concept known as “Imperial federation”. The conclusion will assess the significance of these constitutional experiments in influencing the campaign for Irish home rule.
Keywords: home rule, constitution, reform, imperial, federation, campaign
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