The so -called 'Ulster Solemn League and Covenant' was the petition made by the Irish Protestants of Ulster to prevent the granting of autonomy or Home Rule to Ireland. Home Rule would have given the Irish their own Parliament for the first time since the Act of Union with Great Britain had been signed in 1801.
The Ulster unionists in 1912 believed that their situation was difficult although not completely lost. The leading Ulster unionists came to the conclusion that the Solemn League and Covenant and then the Ulster Volunteer Force were essential elements of preventing Home Rule leading to an independent Irish Republic dominated by Roman Catholics, their worst nightmare come true.1
The drawing - up of the Solemn League and Covenant amply demonstrated the general fear of the Ulster Protestants towards the Home Rule Act as passed by the British Parliament would be introduced throughout Ireland in 1912. The act was designed to provide Ireland with a high degree of autonomy, the Ulster unionists fearing it would sooner rather than later make Ireland an independent nation.2
The Ulster unionists did not want the granting of home rule for Ulster even if it was given to the rest of Ireland, as they wished to maintain their allegiance to the British crown. On the 28 September 1912, quickly dubbed Ulster Day, the solemn league and covenant was signed by more than 450,000 unionist supporters on the first day. ...