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Word Count: 2,148
By the end of the 1930s the Northern State had existed for almost two decades as had its Southern counterpart During this time the two states set themselves up in a way that seemed to justify the fears that both communities Catholic and Protestant had when the possibility of Home Rule was first talked about in the 1880s The Northern state was one where the Protestant majority was in power and treated the Catholic minority as a threat thus realising the fears of that community The South had become an agrarian state with little industry and a constitution that enshrined the power of the Catholic Church thus proving the Protestant mantra that Home Rule equals Rome Rule In 1910 John Redmond and the other Irish Nationalist MPs once more held the balance of power in the House of Commons The price of their support for the government was a third Home Rule bill which this time could not be blocked by the House of Lords A southern Unionist Sir Edward Carson was selected to lead Unionists and well over 400000 people in Ulster signed a Covenant expressing their determination to use all means which may be found necessary to defeat Home Rule When the unionist Ulster Volunteer Force smuggled rifles into Larne in 1914 and the nationalist Irish Volunteers smuggled a smaller shipment of rifles into a harbour near Dublin Ulster seemed to be poised on the brink of civil war But in 1914 the Home Rule issue was overshadowed by events elsewhere in Europe The Home Rule bill was given Royal assent but its operation was suspended until after the end of the war when it was to be amended to make special provision for Ulster which seemed ominous to the Catholic minority there After the war a fourth Home Rule bill the Government of Ireland Act 1920 proposed two Parliaments one for Northern Ireland consisting of counties Antrim Armagh Down
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