The Peel Web
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Gladstone became Prime Minister in 1868, following the election after the passing of the 1867 Reform Act. He had a majority of 120, and his words on receiving the summons to Buckingham Palace were "My mission is to pacify Ireland". Gladstone concluded that there were three main grievances to be redressed in Ireland and proposed to deal with them all: Church, land and education.
The rejection of the Bill ... would only serve to bring the two Houses into collision, and to prolong a dangerous agitation on the subject.
Problems of the Act
Crime and disturbances increased in Ireland while these Acts were going through parliament because of
The problem was so bad that in 1870 a Peace Preservation Act (a Coercion Act) had to be passed; then in 1871 the Westmeath Act gave the Lord Lieutenant more dictatorial powers
This was formed in Dublin by Isaac Butt. It appealed for Home Rule under the Crown. It wanted an Irish parliament elected from the Irish commons and gentry to control all but foreign policy. Gladstone violently opposed the Home Government Association and it was banned, but re-appeared in 1873 as the Home Rule League, with exactly the same aims.
This was an attempt to reorganise higher education in Ireland. It failed to pass parliament by three votes because of a religious controversy over the syllabus: history, philosophy, theology etc.
Gladstone's general policy failed:
The situation was not fully appreciated at the time. Parliament was dissolved in January 1874 and Disraeli was returned as Prime Minister of a Conservative government. He did little for Ireland.
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