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Irish Nationalists and the Making of the Irish Race$
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Bruce Nelson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153124

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153124.001.0001

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Epilogue: The Ordeal of the Irish Republic

Epilogue: The Ordeal of the Irish Republic

(p.242) Epilogue: The Ordeal of the Irish Republic
Irish Nationalists and the Making of the Irish Race

Bruce Nelson

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses events surrounding the Irish Republican government's signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 6, 1921. The treaty granted Ireland dominion status but stopped far short of recognizing the “isolated Republic” that the members of Dáil Éireann and the Irish Republican Army had sworn a solemn oath to uphold. Almost immediately, the treaty divided the republican movement, and by the time it was ratified by a narrow margin in early January 1922, Ireland was drifting toward civil war. The acrimonious treaty debate, the descent into fratricidal warfare that pitted former comrades against each other; the gratuitous violence that took the lives of leading republicans such as Michael Collins, Harry Boland, Erskine Childers, and Liam Mellows—all of this left an indelible imprint on the Irish psyche and affected politics in Ireland for much of the twentieth century. It is fair to say that from the moment the treaty was signed, the republican movement was engulfed by an internal crisis of direction and morale from which it never fully recovered.

Keywords:   Irish nationalism, Irish nationalists, Anglo-Irish Treaty, Ireland, republican movement

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