Latest Issue

Five million Irish

Tory diehards 100 years ago exhibited the same kind of passion against Home Rule as they did against Maastricht

By John Major   May 2000

The aftermath of the crumbling of the Belfast (“Good Friday”) agreement is a good moment to look again at the three Home Rule Bills which dominated British policy towards Ireland in the 30 years before 1914. Edward Pearce’s book is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the political passions which dominate the Emerald Isle. He describes the visceral response to Home Rule from a strand of Conservative opinion which was convinced that the British empire itself would flounder if Gladstone’s Irish policy succeeded. (There are echoes here of the more extreme opposition to Irish policy over the last decade,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect