Post War Ideas in Ireland
by Georgie Lawless
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Irish Republicanism is extreme Irish nationalist
who favours an independent 32 county, achieved
by violence if necessary.
The Fenians (Irish Republican Brotherhood)
attempted an uprising in 1867, but it was a complete
failure and violent confrontation faded from the
In the 20th Century the Republicanism saw a resurgence with the
founding of Sinn Fein in 1905 and the revival of IRB. But the
broad appeal of these groups was stifled amid optimism that
Home Rule was about to become a reality.
"The Irish Republicanism Army fired the first shots of the Irish
War of Independence." While Britain was distracted with the
European war the Republicans took the opportunity of an uprising
to strike an independent Ireland.
The Easter Rising of 1916 was poorly armed but took the British
government by surprise.The rebellion was crushed and the
ringleaders executed. This caused a dramatic shift in public
opinion in favour of the republicans.
Eamon de Valera was one of the surviving leaders of the Easter
Rising. He was elected president of Sinn Fein in October 1917,
aiming for a unified independent Ireland under a single leadership.
Michael Collins first became known within Ireland for his involvement in the Easter Rising in
1916. He was a skilled organiser of considerable intelligence and highly respected by the
Irish Republicans. During the War of Independence he ensured the avoidance of being
targeted, with his soldiers who engaged in guerrilla war against the British. Suddenly when
attacking, then just as quickly withdrawing, he minimised losses and maximised
Irish Nationalism asserts that the Irish are one
nation. Since the partition of Ireland, the term
refers to the group supporting a united Ireland.
The Irish Penal Laws
discriminated against Catholics.
In response, many of the penal laws were
relaxed, and legislative independence was
achieved under the leadership of patriot Henry
Act of Union 1801 --> twin Acts united the
Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of
Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland.
The Act of Union was one of the major events
that caused the Nationalist's and Republican's to
cause uprising and mass protests against the
For nationalism the most recognised central
contribution of Daniel O'Connell was creating the
first mass Nationalist movement.
In the early 19th century, the Catholic Association was formed
under his leadership who turned it into a nationalist movement
to campaign for Catholic emancipation. This was achieved in
Ulster loyalism is a political ideology found
primarily among the working class Protestant
community in Northern Ireland.
Ulster Workers' Council Strike (1974)
The strikers opposed the sharing of political power with
Irish nationalists, and the proposed role for the
Republic of Ireland's government in running Northern
Charles Harding Smith was a loyalist leader in Northern Ireland
and the first effective leader of the Ulster Defence Association.
He shaped Ulster Loyalist by bring the use of violence to their
The term 'loyalist' is often used to describe working class
unionists who are willing to use political violence to defend
'the Union' with Great Britain or who tacitly support such
1906 Ulster Unionist Party forms
Colonel Saunderson → In March 1893, Saunderson was one of
the signatories of the manifesto of the Ulster Defence Union,
launched to organize resistance to the Second Home Rule Bill of
Political, religious and ethnic Beliefs
- Seeks to promote and strengthen the constitutional
union between Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, and
Wales within the constitutional framework of the United
- Opposes European Constitution
- Pro-devolution with a strong
attachment to British parliamentary
- Constitutional monarchist
Unionists opposed the home rule. Dublin unionist MP Edward
Carson threatened armed resistance if Ulster was government
from Dublin. Between 1912 and 1914, hundreds of thousands of
Unionists signed the Solemn League and Covenant to this effect.