Ireland with Great Britain

The union with Great Britain

The example of the French Revolution led to an aggravation of the political climate in Ireland and an anti-British rebellion in 1798. Though it was quickly put down, Protestant rule was shaken. In response to this, the then British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger obtained the consent of the Irish Parliament in 1800 to establish a “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” (in force since January 1, 1801). This meant the dissolution of the Irish and the creation of a joint British parliament with 100 Irish MPs and 32 Irish peers in London and the unification of the state churches. Since the Pitt However, until 1829 the Irish were only allowed to send Protestant members of parliament. The Catholic Association, founded by Irishman Daniel O’Connell in 1823, therefore advocated the abolition of the Union, equal rights for Irish Catholics, the abolition of tithe to Anglican pastors and a reduction in the oppressive rent. Her first success was in 1829 when she obtained the right to send Catholic representatives to the English Parliament.

The “Great Famine” (1845–49) was of decisive importance for the further social, demographic and political development of Ireland. Over 1 million people died and two million Irish emigrated, mostly to the United States. In 1848 the radical “Young Irelanders” tried to spark an uprising. Some of its members joined the Fenians, who had borrowed their name from a Celtic mythical figure. Fenians became the name for the members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, founded in 1858, and the Fenian Brotherhood in the USA, which consisted mainly of Irish. In 1867 they organized a brief, but unsuccessful uprising due to poor preparation (Fenian Rising) against British rule. After 1870 the reformism of the liberals, who were unable to solve the Irish question until 1916, found itself in constant competition with the semi-revolutionary detachment efforts of Irish nationalists. Their Irish Home Rule movement aimed at Gaelic culture, Catholicism and national self-government within a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and thus hardened the confrontation between the denominations.

In Great Britain in particular the British politician and later Prime Minister William E. Gladstone campaigned for reforms in Ireland (1869 revocation of the official status of the Anglican Church in Ireland, 1870 first land law, which among other things provided for compensation for dismissed tenants, furthermore state promotion of the education system). The Irish Land League, founded in 1879, took on the basic economic problems of the rural population like Gladstone’s second land law from 1881: security of lease, reasonable rent. In 1886, however, Gladstone failed with the first Home Rule Bill already in the lower house. The Liberal Party broke up and the “Liberal Unionists”, who refused to surrender Northern Ireland, joined the Conservatives. The second submission from 1893 failed in the House of Lords. The result was a strengthening of Irish nationalism. In 1905 a movement for national self-determination, the Sinn Féin party, was founded. The conservatives reacted to this with further land laws (1896, 1898, 1903; supplemented in 1907), which made it easier for tenants to acquire their land cheaply; they rose to become free farmers.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Ireland, which was characterized by agrarian conservatism and a dominant Catholic Church, underwent numerous political, economic and cultural changes that loosened the country’s constitutional ties to the British Crown and, in particular, nationalism of the Catholic population. In 1911 the Irish nationalists supported the Liberals in tax policy against the financial policy of the House of Lords. In return, the Liberals in turn introduced a third Irish Home Rule Bill in 1912on. However, the prospect of achieving national self-government in Ireland after all triggered violent attacks on the Catholic autonomy movement among the majority of Protestants in the province of Ulster.

From the Easter Rising to the Proclamation of the Republic (1916-49)

The First World War prevented the implementation of the Home Rule Bill of 1912. On Easter 1916 radical nationalist forces in Dublin started an uprising, proclaimed the republic, and some leaders (Robert Casement in particular) sought Irish independence with German help.

London cracked down on the crackdown on the Easter Rising; most of the leaders of the uprising were executed. This boosted the anti-British mood in Ireland. Many Republicans supported the Sinn Féin independence movement. In the general election of December 1918, Sinn Féin won 73 of the 105 Irish seats in the British House of Commons. In January 1919, Irish members of parliament (Dáil Éireann, also known as First Dáil) met in Dublin, declared Ireland’s independence and set up a government under Éamon de Valera . However, it was not recognized by Great Britain.

Bloody British-Irish clashes ensued, which developed into a civil war across Ireland. Radical nationalist Irish forces led by Michael Collins (murdered 1922) founded the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1919. With the Government of Ireland Act (1920), which provided for one parliament each for Northern and Southern Ireland with limited legal autonomy and regarded the British Parliament as the final instance, the British government under Lloyd George sought independence on the condition that the Irish island was divided to meet. In July 1921 she entered into negotiations with de Valera a ceasefire and concluded on December 6, 1921 with the moderate forces of the independence movement (Arthur Griffith , Michael Collins ) an Anglo-Irish Treaty (“Anglo-Irish Treaty”). According to this treaty, what is now Northern Ireland (essentially the Protestant province of Ulster) was to be split off from Ireland. The remaining five-sixths of the island should receive the status of a Dominion (“Saorstát Éireann”, German Free State of Ireland), like Canada and other Dominions within the British Empire (later British Commonwealth). This ended the Irish War of Independence. Against the opposition of many Republicans, including de Valera, the treaty was adopted by a small majority in the Dáil Éireann on January 7th, 1922, and the Irish Free State constitution came into force on December 6th, 1922. The Free State was the predecessor of today’s Republic of Ireland from 1922–37. Chairman of the Executive Council (German Vollzugsrat, i.e. government) was Arthur Griffith , after his death William T. Cosgrave . The British crown remained represented by a governor general. The six majority Protestant counties of Ulsters declared by referendum that Northern Ireland would remain part of the United Kingdom. With the acceptance of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, however, formed under the leadership of de Valera the opposition of the contracting parties especially against the separation of Ulster.

In 1927, de Valera took over a parliamentary role again at the head of the Fianna Fáil party, which was newly formed in 1926. In March 1932 he came to government and in 1933 abolished the oath of allegiance to the English king, which until then every Irish MP had to take. His government also pursued the separation from the Commonwealth and the reunification with Ulster, it introduced high protective tariffs in the face of the Great Depression in 1929 and started a tariff war with Great Britain. The opponents of de Valera and his politics (William T. Cosgrave and General Eoin O’Duffy, leaders of the fascist “blue shirts” since 1933) united to form Fine Gael in 1933, in the O’Duffy but soon no longer played a role.

On December 29, 1937, according to Youremailverifier, Ireland passed a new constitution. Both “Éire” (Gaelic) and “Ireland” became official state names. The office of president was created (1938–45: Douglas Hyde ) and Ireland was declared a sovereign, independent and democratic state. The constitution combined Irish nationalism, Catholic social philosophy and British parliamentary tradition. Great Britain accepted this unilateral move on the Irish side. During World War II Ireland remained neutral and refused to allow Allied air bases. In 1945 the British government recognized the 1937 Constitution. In June 1945, Sean T. O’Kelly , President and remained so until 1959. In 1948, Prime Minister de Valera by Replaced John A. Costello (Fine Gael), who headed a grand coalition. In 1949, the last constitutional link to the Commonwealth was broken. On April 18, 1949, the Republic of Ireland became fully independent (Republic of Ireland Act).

Ireland with Great Britain

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