Home rule

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Home rule is government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens. [1] It is thus the power of a constituent part (administrative division) of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been decentralized to it by the central government.

Administrative division A territorial entity for administration purposes

An administrative division, unit, entity, area or region, also referred to as a subnational entity, statoid, constituent unit, or country subdivision, is a portion of a country or other region delineated for the purpose of administration. Administrative divisions are granted a certain degree of autonomy and are usually required to manage themselves through their own local governments. Countries are divided up into these smaller units to make managing their land and the affairs of their people easier. A country may be divided into provinces, which, in turn, may be divided in whole or in part into municipalities.

State (polity) organised community living under a system of government; either a sovereign state, constituent state, or federated state

A state is a political organization with a centralized government that maintains a monopoly by use of force within a certain geographical territory.

Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state, by a market or by a network – over a social system and whether through the laws, norms, power or language of an organized society. It relates to "the processes of interaction and decision-making among the actors involved in a collective problem that lead to the creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions". In lay terms, it could be described as the political processes that exist in and between formal institutions.

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In the British Isles, it traditionally referred to self-government, devolution or independence of its constituent nations—initially Ireland, and later Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In the United States and other countries organised as federations of states, the term usually refers to the process and mechanisms of self-government as exercised by municipalities, counties, or other units of local government at the level below that of a federal state (e.g., US state, in which context see special legislation). It can also refer to the similar system under which Greenland and the Faroe Islands are associated with Denmark.

Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Home rule is not, however, comparable with federalism. Whereas states in a federal system of government (e.g., Canada, Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Ethiopia and the United States) have a guaranteed constitutional existence, a devolved home rule system of government is created by ordinary legislation and can be reformed, or even abolished, by repeal or amendment of that ordinary legislation.

Federalism political concept

Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government with regional governments in a single political system. Its distinctive feature, exemplified in the founding example of modern federalism by the United States under the Constitution of 1787, is a relationship of parity between the two levels of government established. It can thus be defined as a form of government in which there is a division of powers between two levels of government of equal status.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

A legislature may, for example, create home rule for an administrative division, such as a province, a county, or a department, so that a local county council, county commission, parish council, or Board of supervisors may have jurisdiction over its unincorporated areas, including important issues like zoning. Without this, the division is simply an extension of the higher government. The legislature can also establish or eliminate municipal corporations, which have home rule within town or city limits through the city council. The higher government could also abolish counties/townships, redefine their boundaries, or dissolve their home-rule governments, according to the relevant laws.

A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman provincia, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries. In some countries with no actual provinces, "the provinces" is a metaphorical term meaning "outside the capital city".

County Geographical and administrative region in some countries

A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes, in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French conté or cunté denoting a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count (earl) or a viscount. The modern French is comté, and its equivalents in other languages are contea, contado, comtat, condado, Grafschaft, graafschap, Gau, etc..

Department (country subdivision) Administrative or political subdivision in some countries

A department is an administrative or political subdivision in many countries. Departments are the first-level subdivisions of 11 countries, nine in the Americas and two in Africa. An additional 10 countries use departments as second-level subdivisions, eight in Africa, and one each in the Americas and Europe.

Ireland

The issue of Irish home rule was the dominant political question of British and Irish politics at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. [2]

From the late nineteenth century, Irish leaders of the Home Rule League, the predecessor of the Irish Parliamentary Party, under Isaac Butt, William Shaw, and Charles Stewart Parnell demanded a form of home rule, with the creation of an Irish parliament within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. This demand led to the eventual introduction of four Home Rule Bills, of which two were passed, the Third Home Rule Act won by John Redmond and most notably the Government of Ireland Act 1920 (which created the home rule parliaments of Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland – the latter state did not in reality function and was replaced by the Irish Free State).

Home Rule League political party

The Home Rule League (1873–1882), sometimes called the Home Rule Party or the Home Rule Confederation, was a political party which campaigned for home rule for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, until it was replaced by the Irish Parliamentary Party.

Irish Parliamentary Party political party

The Irish Parliamentary Party was formed in 1874 by Isaac Butt, the leader of the Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliamentary party for Irish nationalist Members of Parliament (MPs) elected to the House of Commons at Westminster within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland up until 1918. Its central objectives were legislative independence for Ireland and land reform. Its constitutional movement was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Irish self-government through three Irish Home Rule bills.

Isaac Butt British politician

Isaac Butt, QC, MP, was an Irish barrister, politician, Member of Parliament (M.P.) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, and the founder and first leader of a number of Irish nationalist parties and organisations, including the Irish Metropolitan Conservative Society in 1836, the Home Government Association in 1870 and in 1873 the Home Rule League.

The home rule demands of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century differed from earlier demands for Repeal by Daniel O'Connell in the first half of the nineteenth century. Whereas home rule meant a constitutional movement towards a national All-Ireland parliament in part under Westminster, repeal meant the repeal of the 1801 Act of Union (if need be, by physical force) and the creation of an entirely independent Irish state, separated from the United Kingdom, with only a shared monarch joining them.

Liberal leader Joseph Chamberlain led the battle against Home Rule in Parliament. He broke with the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone who insisted on Home Rule, and in 1886 formed a new party, the Liberal Unionist Party. It helped defeat Home Rule and eventually merged with the Conservative party. Chamberlain used anti-Catholicism to built a base for the new party among "Orange" Nonconformist Protestant elements in Britain and Ireland. [3] [4] Liberal Unionist John Bright coined the party's catchy slogan, "Home rule means Rome rule." [5]

India

Several nationalist leaders banded together in 1916 under the leadership of Annie Besant to voice a demand for self-government, and to obtain the status of a Dominion within the British Empire as enjoyed by Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Newfoundland at the time.

While enjoying considerable popularity for some years, its growth and activity were stalled by the rise of Mohandas Gandhi and his satyagraha art of revolution: non-violent, but mass-based civil disobedience, aimed at complete independence.

Scotland

In a similar fashion to Ireland, supporters of home rule in Scotland have historically desired greater levels of devolved governance within the United Kingdom. Although the term 'home rule' has been largely superseded by 'devolution', the home rule movement can be seen as the forerunner to the creation of the current devolved Scottish Parliament.

Administrative devolution was granted to Scotland, with the creation of the Scottish Office, in 1885. In the mid-20th century, the home rule movement became significant, campaigning for a Scottish assembly. Between 1947 and 1950, the Scottish Covenant, a petition requesting a Scottish legislature within the UK, received over two million signatures. It was not until 1979 that devolution entered the political sphere – the Scottish devolution referendum, 1979 was held. Despite a vote of 51.6% in favour of devolution, the Scotland Act 1978 was not put into effect due to a requirement that the 'Yes' vote receive the support of 40% of the electorate, which was not met on 63.8% turnout. In 1999, due to the success of a second referendum, the Scottish Parliament was created.

England

English home rule has been discussed in relation to proposals for constitutional changes regarding England following the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. [6]

The United States of America

Local government

In the United States, some states constitutionally or legislatively grant home rule to cities, counties, and municipalities within their borders. These are called "home rule states." Local governments in home rule states are free to pass laws and ordinances as they see fit to further their operations, within the bounds of the state and federal constitutions. In other states, local governments have only the authority expressly granted to them by state legislatures, typically in accordance with the legal principle known as Dillon's Rule.

District of Columbia

The US Constitution gives jurisdiction over the capital city (District of Columbia or Washington, D.C.) to the United States Congress in "all cases whatsoever". This arrangement is due to the fact that the District is neither a state, nor part of a state. At certain times, and presently since 1973, Congress has provided for D.C. government to be carried out primarily by locally elected officials. However, congressional oversight of this local government still exists, and locally elected officials' powers could theoretically be revoked at any time.

Native American reservations

The United States federal government provides limited self-rule to some federally recognised Native American tribes over their lands on reservations. Tribal lands are recognised as "dependent domestic nations" and operate a parallel system of governance and law independent of the state(s) which the reservation lies within, sometimes including separate police forces. For instance, some tribes are permitted to operate gambling establishments and produce narcotics which may be illegal in the surrounding state or states. Reservations are not states and have no direct representation in Congress, and the citizens vote as citizens of the state by which they are surrounded. Furthermore, unlike the sovereignty of state legislatures, tribal sovereignty and land ownership are not guaranteed by the Constitution and is granted only by an act of Congress, which can be repealed or altered at any time.

The Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands is a self-governing country in the Danish Realm. Home rule was granted by the Parliament of Denmark in 1948, with further autonomy granted in 2005. [7] Denmark's monarch is the Faroese head of state. The Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union, even though Denmark is.

Greenland

Greenland is a self-governing country in the Danish Realm. Following a referendum in Greenland where the majority favored a higher degree of autonomy, home rule was granted by the Parliament of Denmark in 1979. [8] After another referendum, further autonomy was granted in 2009. [8] Denmark's monarch is Greenland's head of state. Greenland is not part of the European Union, even though Denmark is.

See also

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References

  1. "home rule - Definition of home rule in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries - English.
  2. McConnel, James (17 February 2011). "Irish Home Rule: An imagined future". BBC History. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  3. D. W. Bebbington (2014). The Nonconformist Conscience. Routledge. p. 93.
  4. Travis L. Crosby (2011). Joseph Chamberlain: A Most Radical Imperialist. I.B.Tauris. pp. 74–76.
  5. Hugh Cunningham (2014). The Challenge of Democracy: Britain 1832-1918. pp. 134–.
  6. Greenslade, Roy (22 September 2014). "English 'home rule' - what the national newspapers say". Greenslade blog - The Guardian . Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  7. State Department of Denmark: The Faroe Islands Home Rule Arrangement.
  8. 1 2 State Department of Denmark: The Greenlandic Home Rule Arrangement.

Further reading