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Home Rule

Home Rule Map of Ireland.

Between 1801 and 1922 Ireland formed a constituent part of the United Kingdom. At various intervals during this time, attempts were made to destabilise Anglo-Irish relations. Rebellions were launched in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 to try and end British rule over Ireland.

Daniel O Connell in the 1830-1840s campaigned to repeal the Act of Union. Home Rule came to dominate domestic British politics in the era 1885 to the start of World War One.

Home Rule effectively started in Ireland in 1870 but in British politics, Gladstone was converted to it in the 1880's.

Wales, Scotland, Ireland. 1851. John Tallis.
Wales, Scotland, Ireland, 1851
John Tallis

Home Rule was the name given to the process of allowing Ireland more say in how it was governed freeing them from the rule of London and thus appeasing those in Ireland who wanted Ireland to have more home derived power.

But from the 1870s onwards Irish Nationalists (under Isaac Butt) favoured Home Rule. It was not until 1886, however, that the first attempt to legislate Home Rule was made.

The Liberal government, led by W. E. Gladstone and supported by the Irish Parliamentary Party under Charles Stewart Parnell, introduced a Home Rule bill in the House of Commons. British and Irish Unionists (so-called because they defended the union of 1801) defeated it. By the time another bill was introduced in 1893, Parnell was dead (having earlier been deposed following a messy divorce scandal) and his followers were acrimoniously divided. Gladstone s second attempt was passed by the House of Commons, but was rejected by the House of Lords. Nineteen years were to pass before another Home Rule Bill was introduced in 1912.

August 31, 1893, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

Home Rule for Ireland.
Gladstone Moves the Third Reading of His Measure.

Greatest Step Toward Attainment of an Early Triumph.

Special to the Record-Union.

London, Aug. 30.- The House of Commons met at noon to consider the home rule bill in its last stage. There was an exceptionally large attendance. Gladstone and Morley were enthusiastically cheered as they entered.

Introduction of the Home Rule Bill. Mr. Gladstone delivering his Peroration

Mr. Gladstone.

After a number of amendments were disposed of without debate, Gladstone rose, amid a storm of cheers, to move the third reading of the bill. He began his speech with reference to the criticisms made by the Unionist leaders on historical precedents that he cited on former occasions for home rule in Ireland. The opposition, he said, contended that in no other countries could analogies be found tor changing the union between Great Britain and Ireland. Their contention could not be supported by historical facts. In Austria-Hungary, Norway and Sweden, in the United States and in the British colonies were to be found abundant proofs that it was altogether desirable to separate local from imperial ailairs. Throughout European and American literature it is not possible to find a writer entitled to consideration who has approved of the conduct of England toward Ireland, or attempted to apologize for the grievous, shameful history, which, since, the union, they had felt compelled to deplore.

Home Rule, An Irish History.Gladstone closed his address as follows: "We have faith in national liberty, faith in its efficacy as an instrument of national education. We believe experience wide-spread over the whole vast field encourages us to our work at every point. Finally, we feel that the passing of this great measure, after more than eighty days of debate, docs, will and must constitute tho greatest among all steps hitherto provided towards the attainment of a certain and early triumpn.

Ireland and the Home Rule Movement.

Prolonged cheers followed from the Irish and Ministerial benches.

Leonard Courtney (Unionist) then moved the rejection of the bill. He spoke briefly.

But while the debate at Westminster focused on Home Rule finance and the protection of minorities, the discussion on the streets of Dublin, Belfast, Cork and elsewhere reflected more personal hopes, fears, and aspirations for the future.

Nationalist politicians described Home Rule as the 'promised land'. The cause of Irish self-government was certainly interwoven with centuries-old memories of Catholic dispossession and Protestant ascendancy on the one hand and popish plots and moonlit intimidation on the other.

Accordingly, expectations that a Dublin parliament would right old wrongs or settle old scores flourished. In 1886, for instance, sectarian riots in Belfast raged for several months after a Catholic docker allegedly told a Protestant worker that none of his sort would find employment under Home Rule.

1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe

Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.

Great Britain10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714
United States 3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887
Norway 2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230
Germany 1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.
Sweden 1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527
Italy1,150 vessels
France 1,182 vessels

For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)

  Country # of Vessels







1 Greece 4,453 206.47 $88.0
2 Japan 4,317 150.26 $79.8
3 China 4,938 159.71 $71.7
4 USA 2,399 55.92 $46.5
5 Singapore 2,662 64.03 $41.7
6 Norway 1,668 39.68 $41.1
7 Germany 2,923 81.17 $30.3
8 UK 883 28.78 $24.3
9 Denmark 1,040 36.17 $23.4
10 South Korea 1,484 49.88 $20.1
Total 26,767 87.21 $466.9

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping.Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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