Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Susan K. Kent

Second Advisor

Matthew Gerber

Third Advisor

Joseph Jupile


In 1914, as Europe marched towards war, the British government focused on internal issues in Ireland. The Government of Ireland Act 1914 passed the House of Commons and would have allowed for a limited power parliament in Dublin to control Irish issues. Militia’s formed in Ireland in reaction to the bill. The Irish Volunteers, in favor of the bill, swore to uphold the law, while the Ulster Volunteer Force vowed to stop the law at any cost. The British government feared both of these paramilitaries. This thesis explores the threat posed by these militias and their effects on Britain’s entry into World War I.