Book Chapter

The Persistence of Liberal Unionism in Irish Politics, 1886-1912



Cawood I (2014) The Persistence of Liberal Unionism in Irish Politics, 1886-1912. In: Doherty G (ed.) The Home Rule Crisis, 1912-14. Cork Studies in the Irish Revolution. Cork, RoI: Mercier Press, pp. 333-352.

This chapter examines the under-explored contribution of the Irish branch of the Liberal Unionist party and argues that it was this group that was responsible for most of the dramatic political and economic change that Ireland experienced between 1886 and 1905, by exerting pressure from both within and without the Unionist governments of the period. The chapter identifies that Irish Liberal Unionism played a huge role in the defeat of the Second Home Rule Bill of 1893 by demonstrating a significant opposition to Home Rule from within Ireland that was non-sectarian, opposed to communal violence and committed to modernising the Irish economy. It was the decline of the Liberal Unionists, both in Ireland and in Britain more broadly, which led to the upsurge of the sectarian politics of violence after 1912 and which enabled the Ulster Unionists to dominate the Unionist cause thereafter.

FundersUniversity of Birmingham
Title of seriesCork Studies in the Irish Revolution
Publication date01/09/2014
PublisherMercier Press
Publisher URL…-crisis-1912-14/
Place of publicationCork, RoI

People (1)


Dr Ian Cawood

Dr Ian Cawood

Associate Professor, History