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Nationalism and the Irish PartyProvincial Ireland 1910-1916$
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Michael Wheatley

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273577

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273577.001.0001

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Before the Home Rule Crisis: 1910–1913

Before the Home Rule Crisis: 1910–1913

(p.155) 8 Before the Home Rule Crisis: 1910–1913
Nationalism and the Irish Party


Oxford University Press

A study of the local press, both nationalist and unionist, indicates that there was no ‘Ulster crisis’ in the five counties studied from the 1910 elections up to the autumn of 1913. Only the outbreak of mob violence — in Belfast in the summer of 1912 and to a lesser extent Londonderry in August 1913 — generated real nationalist unease. For the rest of the time, the publication and passage of the Home Rule Bill generated a considerable volume of press coverage but few great passions either for or against. ‘Ulster's’ campaign against the bill, and the newly-formed Ulster Volunteer Force, were seen not as a looming and ever-growing physical threat, but as a political and propaganda ‘bluff’ to undermine British support for the bill before it could pass. Confidence, complacency, quietude, and even apathy were more typical characteristics of local debate than wild enthusiasm, chagrin, disappointment, or alarm.

Keywords:   Ulster crisis, local press, apathy, Home Rule Bill, Belfast riots, Ulster Volunteer Force, bluff

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