The first major constitutional reform since the Act of Union 1800–1 resulted from the need for an alternative to the third Home Rule Bill, suspended 1914, which no longer had the backing of Southern Irish nationalist opinion. It aimed to establish two devolved governments for the six counties of the north‐east and the 26 counties of the south and west. Essential powers were to be retained at Westminster, proportional representation was to be used at elections, and a Council of Ireland was to be established. The Dáil rejected the Act, which was supplanted by the Anglo‐Irish treaty of 1921. For 80 years the Act has provided the legal basis for Northern Ireland's existence.
Subjects: British History.