The vast majority of the Irish Volunteers had supported John Redmonds call to support the British war effort in the summer of 1914. Even among the twelve thousand or so militants who remained in the Irish Volunteers after it split on the issue of the war in September 1914, there was considerable opposition to the idea of an unprovoked Rising. Formally, the Irish Volunteers leadership consisted of figures like eoin MacNeill, bulmer Hobson and Roger Casement. However, an informal but substantial degree of authority was exercised by members of the irb who had helped to establish and control make the Irish Volunteers for its own purposes. The leadership of the Irish Volunteers had never made it very clear what the organisation stood for. Although its formation was triggered by the establishment of the Ulster Volunteer Force, the leaders of the Irish Volunteers professed to admire rather than resent the revolutionary precedent set by the uvf. The Irish Volunteers were not formed to fight the British government, but rather to ensure that the government did not waver in its intention to enact the home rule legislation which it had initiated in 1912.
When James Connolly described Ireland as a powder magazine waiting for a match to be thrown on it, bulmer Hobson, a fenian leader, replied that Ireland was a wet bog and that the match would fall into a puddle. The irbs decision to rise should be seen more as a consequence of weakness than strength. Its leaders were aware that the great 19th century grievances the catholic question, the land question and now, it appeared, home rule had been resolved by best a series of pragmatically conciliatory British administrations. It was frustration at the moderate state of Irish opinion, as demonstrated by the widespread public support for Redmondism, and awareness that the tradition of physical force resistance to British rule a tradition which the irb was guardian of appeared to be dying which persuaded. 1916 would retrospectively be depicted as the inevitable culmination of process of nationalist radicalisation stretching back to fall of Parnell in 1890 and the rise of cultural nationalism sentiment. In reality, the easter Rising was as it seemed to contemporaries at the time an unpredictable aberration. Irish Volunteers The second key organisation involved in the easter Rising, the Irish Volunteers was like the irb divided on the merits of rebellion.
Indeed, the irbs constitution of 1873 declared that the irb must win public approval before embarking on another Rising. With the help of the secretary of the irb, seán MacDermott, tom Clarke conspired to bypass the moderates within the irb leadership. Clarke and MacDermott, who formed a majority of the three-person irb executive, appointed a military council to bypass the irb leadership (or Supreme council). . It was this Military council, which would later co-opt pearse and Connolly, which was the body which planned and organised the easter Rising However, two other factors were necessary to make rising a real possibility for Clarke and MacDermott: the formation of the Irish Volunteers. There is little evidence that Fenians like thomas Clarke or seán MacDermott willingly sought martyrdom or blood sacrifice. Instead, they intended to make what they regarded as a principled and heroic gesture to reawaken the spirit of militant nationalism. This explains why the irb was more concerned with making a dramatic impact than planning for military victory The irb leaders held a pessimistic view of state of Irish opinion at time.
Danahey on the loose at the iahc
To sympathetic fellow-communists, such. Lenin, connolly had successfully placed socialism at the vanguard of the nationalist struggle. To unsympathetic observers, connolly had consigned Irish socialism to subordination to reactionary nationalism for decades to come. Disagreement remains about the rebels ultimate objectives. What kind of political system did they wish to see replacing British rule? Part of the explanation for the disagreement on these basic questions is that the rebels, who belonged to several different political organisations, did not have a writer coherent agreed programme.
The organizations involved back to top three groups participated in 1916: the Irish Republican Brotherhood (irb the Irish Volunteers, and James short Connollys Irish Citizen Army (ICA). Of these only the ica, a small radical militia, was fully committed to insurrection. The leadership of the other two, larger, organisations were divided on the merits of a rebellion. Irish Republican Brotherhood The irb (or Fenians) were the most influential of the three organisations in terms of the planning and organising of the rebellion. This secret, oath-bound, movement had been reorganised by tom Clarke who returned to Ireland in 1907 determined to organise a rebellion. However, given the disastrous failed uprisings of 18, many within the irb were opposed to a rising unless it had both a realistic chance of success and the support of the majority of the Irish people.
Considering its importance, it is striking how little agreement exists on some of the key questions concerning 1916. Did the rebels feel their rebellion had any real chance of success? Was the rising intended as a coup détat or merely a bloody protest? Did the rebels believe their martyrdom would revive militant nationalism? There is also much disagreement about the motives of the rebel leaders.
For example, an influential biography of Patrick pearse by ruth Dudley edwards draws an unsympathetic picture of a frustrated and repressed zealot who was motivated to rebel by vanity, an obsession with martyrdom and an unsuccessful business and personal life. In contrast, Brian. Murphys biography of Patrick pearse depicts a moderate nationalist who was pushed into support for physical force through a series of radicalising events. These included the formation of the Ulster Volunteers, Edward Carsons defiance of British authority, and John Redmonds concession of the principle of partition. Murphy depicts pearse as a nationalist who merely adopted the militant tactics which his opponents were using with success. Similarly, there is much disagreement about James Connollys role in the easter Rising. Why did a radical Marxist support a rebellion led by catholic nationalists?
An essay on the easter rising of 1916
Had 1916 helped to legitimise use of physical force for the attainment of political objectives? Was the use of force acceptable to attain objectives which few people appeared to share at the time? These questions became central to what became known as the revisionist thank historical debate as traditional nationalist accounts of the easter Rising were challenged by more critical and sceptical approaches to 1916. In response, many nationalists including some academic historians internet criticised the direction of revisionist history. Their criticism was aimed not so much at the research findings of historians but the overall tone of their inquiries. Revisionism was seen as dismissive of the rising and its aspiration of an independent Republic. Some critics viewed it as an attempt to rehabilitate the constitutional nationalism of John Redmond and his project of an Ireland which retained close links with Britain. Such questions have informed much of the historiography of modern republicanism.
With the passing of time, and the demise of the revolutionary generation which held power in the Irish state until the 1960s, the legacy of 1916 came to be seen as less relevant in modern Ireland. Many attributed the change in attitudes to the renewal of conflict in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, a conflict which demonstrated how the southern state fell short of the united republic which the rebels of 1916 had hoped to achieve. Similarly, the Irish governments decision in 2006 to reinstate commemoration of the rising outside the gpo reflected the transformed political context in Northern Ireland. During the Troubles, violence in the north raised difficult questions for the southern parties which claimed their legitimacy from the republican tradition. Were null the actions of the rebel leaders, who accepted that they did not represent the views of most Irish people at the time, legitimate? If so, how could the southern government condemn the activities of the Provisional ira which claimed the same motives and justification as the easter rebels? Attention was also focused on the legacy of the easter Rising.
struggle for independence. It was the, easter, rising rather than the 1918 general election or the war of Independence which the state looked to as a source of legitimacy. The proclamation of 1916 was regarded rhetorically at least as the founding document of the independent Irish state, and. Easter 1916 became the central episode in the long story of Irelands struggle for independence. From the late 1960s, however, the attitude of many Irish nationalists, and the Irish state itself, to the easter Rising underwent significant changes. A growing attitude of apathy or ambivalence towards 1916 and its legacy became evident. During the 1970s and 1980s, the rallies held outside dublins General Post Office, where the rebel headquarters were based, were generally organised by sinn féin rather than the main political parties. The Irish government preferred to commemorated 1916 in a quiet ceremony at Arbour Hill prison, bringing to an end the tradition of holding large demonstrations outside the gpo. Why did this re-evaluation occur?
This lecture will examine the motives of the organisations which planned the, easter, rising the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army. It will then assess the ideology of the two most prominent rebel leaders, patrick pearse and James Connolly. The setbacks faced by the rebels and reasons for the military failure of the, easter, rising will be briefly outlined, and the lecture will conclude by assessing the impact of the, easter, rising on Irish republicanism and Irish politics. A useful starting point in help assessing the significance of the. Rising is to consider how popular and political attitudes to 1916 and its treatment in historiography the way in which historians have written about and interpreted it have changed over time. For the first half-century after the, easter, rising, the independent Irish state commemorated the. Rising with great pomp. For example, the ceremony which formally established the Irish Republic in 1949 was held. Easter, monday, and the fiftieth anniversary.
Bbc history site about the 1916
News / events, short Cuts, dr fearghal McGarry,. The organizations involved,. The failure of the, rising. Introduction, the, easter, rising is the defining event of the modern Irish republican tradition. Indeed, most Irish nationalists regard the. Rising as dark the most important event in twentieth-century Irish history. Without it, Irish politics would have been shaped by the moderate constitutional nationalism of John Redmonds Irish Parliamentary party, and southern Ireland may have remained part of the British Empire, or even the United Kingdom, for much of the twentieth-century.