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Buildings at the Ulster American Folk Park and World War One

Ireland 1914

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Campbell House, Plumbridge
Campbell House, Plumbridge<br /> Larger Image

Ireland was all one country in 1914 and fully and completely part of Great Britain. There were 103 Irish MPs out of a total of 670. Irish nationalist MPs yield considerable power with a minority Liberal government.

Emigration had reduced to a small stream compared to the previous flood but still 30,000 people were leaving each year for the USA and Canada. They represented 80% of those that left Ireland, only 20% went to Britain.

The main source of conflict is the suffragette movement struggling for women’s votes, Emily Pankhurst is leading a more militant campaign and this is reflected in Belfast. There is huge tension between William Carson’s Ulster Volunteers and John Redmond’s Irish Volunteers as Parliament is about to pass the Home Rule Bill. However this has not broken out into violence, all that could change if as seems likely the proposed bill becomes law.

All these concerns are left behind to some extent when Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo.