The Times and the Manchester Guardian’s editorial perspectives on Irish Home Rule and the adoption of referendum debates during the British constitutional crisis: December 1910-August 1911
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This thesis is a critical examination of the editorial coverage of referendum and Irish Home Rule issues as reported by both The Times and the Manchester Guardian during the closing stages of the British constitutional crisis of 1911. The traditional and conventional constraints on the House of Lords were replaced with constraints based on the law namely the Parliament Act 1911. The Act gave financial control of the state to the House of Commons, and rendered the role of the House of Lords chamber primarily one of revision and delay. A coalition led by the Liberal Government. including the Irish Nationalist Party, had overturned centuries of tradition. Two of the major themes that stand out in the debate concerning the Act’s passage are: claims that a referendum would offer a better mechanism to gauge the electorates views with regard to the major constitutional change that was proposed by the Parliament Bill, and the significance of the issue of Irish Home Rule and its impact on the relationship between the Liberal Government and the Irish Nationalist Party during the passage of the legislation. Therefore these two themes are the main focus of this thesis, which investigates the ways in which both The Times and the Manchester Guardian editorials reported and commented on the two themes and the degree to which editorial opinion aligned with government and opposition opinion.
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