The Irish desire for independence from Britain was not without sympathizers in England prior to the 20th Century. William Ewart Gladstone, probably the best of the 19th Century Prime Ministers, proposed a sort of “home rule” for Ireland, but his plans were quashed by the House of Lords. The Irish MPs, often disunited in their goals and strategies, were always a small minority in Parliament, and any desires for independence faced overwhelming disapproval, even from some of their own representatives. In the early 1900s, sentiment for possible home rule for Ireland revived among many British politicians after the Liberals were returned to power in 1906, but World War I intervened in 1914, putting all that talk on Parliament’s back burner. In the Emerald isle, however, powerful intellectual and cultural forces had chipped away at the unionist majority, and men and women with a more radical agenda determined to make a bid for independence while the Great War distracted Great Britain.