With attempts at this legislation having begun in 1886, the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 was the fourth try at establishing Home Rule in Ireland – that is, affording the country a certain amount of freedom to self-govern while retaining its position as part of the United Kingdom.
Up to that point Ireland had been ruled by the UK Parliament via their administration at Dublin Castle, ever since the Irish Parliament was abolished through the Acts of Union 1800.
King George V was forced to hold the Buckingham Palace Conference on Ireland, bringing representatives of both groups together to discuss potential solutions.
Eventually, a trial period of partition was also included in the third version of the Irish Home Rule Bill to appease unionists, but when World War I broke out in 1914, the bill was suspended.
Partition almost always creates as well as solves problems, leaving minorities on both sides of the border.
If the world is to become a place of peace and plenty for all people, strategies that bring us together need to take priority over those that divide us. Partition may sometimes be necessary as a pragmatic strategy to avoid bloodshed but a partitioned world will not be able to make our planet a common home, so that it becomes a shared not a contested space.
Regarding Catholics as modern-day Canaanites, many Ulster Scots believed that Ireland was their promised land and that they should separate themselves from the Catholics as the children of Israel did from the Canaanites.
The Catholics, like the Canaanites, were a like "snares and traps." During the nineteenth century, when successive British governments wanted to grant Ireland "Home Rule" bill after bill presented to Parliament failed because the very interests that Britain had created in Ireland conspired to vote against them.
In 1919, the Irish War of Independence officially began.
The Government of Ireland Act was enacted in 1920, and the island was partitioned into Southern and Northern Ireland the following year, but Home Rule never came into effect in the South.