By 1915, many factors set the stage for a new phase of nationalist movement. Rise in stature of Annie Besant (who was of part Irish origin and a firm supporter of Irish Home Rule Movement), the return of Tilak from exile and the growing calls for solving the split in congress began to stir the political scene in India. The Ghadar Mutiny and its suppression led to an atmosphere of resentment against British rule⁣

During WW I, Annie Besant declared, “England’s need is India’s opportunity”. As editor of the New India newspaper, she attacked the colonial government of India and called for clear and decisive moves towards self-rule.⁣

Between 1916 and 1918, during the war, prominent Indians like Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sir S. Subramania Iyer ,Satendra Nath Bose and Annie Besant decided to organise a national alliance of leagues across India, specifically to demand Home Rule or self-government. ⁣

Tilak founded the first home rule league at the Bombay provincial congress at Belgaum in April,1916. then after this Annie Besant founded second league at Adyar Madras in September 1916. While Tilak’s league worked in areas like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Central provinces, Annie Besant’s league worked in the rest of India.⁣

The government arrested Annie Besant in 1917 and this led to nationwide protests. The movement actually spread out and made its impact in the interior villages of India.⁣

The pressure of the movement, especially after Annie Besant’s arrest, led to the Montague’s declaration on 20 August 1917 which stated that “progressive realization of responsible government in India” was the policy of the British government.⁣

The Movement was also left leaderless once Tilak left for England to pursue a libel case he had filed and Annie Besant was largely satisfied by the promise of Reforms.⁣

After the Montagu Declaration the league agreed to suspend its expansion of the movement. After this the all moderate candidate gave up the membership of league.⁣

In 1920, the All India Home Rule League elected Mahatma Gandhi as its president. In 1921 All India Home Rule League changed its name to Swarajya Sabha.⁣