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Outline The Developments In The Easter Island Uprising

1669 words - 7 pages

On Easter Monday, April 24, 1916, a force of Irishmen attempted to seize Dublin, with the ultimate intention of eliminating British rule and creating a completely independent Ireland. Their leaders, such as Patrick Pearse and James Connolly, knew that they were destined to die, but saw the importance of independence, thus the rebellion was inevitable. In the eyes of many the rebellion was a complete failure, with the loss of lives and damage of buildings, but in the eyes of many Irish patriots the rebellion was a complete success as it promoted Irish nationalism and ultimately lead to an independent Ireland. The circumstances that lead to the rebellion are of an intense complexity, historical, social, political and psychological, and the rebellion itself has lasting impacts on society today.Since 1603, when Ireland was for the first time effectively united under British rule, Irish history has been dictated by the British, and the poor relationship between Ireland and Britain. The root of the problem was that Ireland was a mainly Roman Catholic country ruled by Protestant foreigners, colonial administrators acting on behalf of a Protestant Government far away. During the 18th century, the Irish Catholics were deprived of all rights, as one English judge brutally put it: "The law does not suppose any such person to exist as an Irish Roman Catholic." The Irish could only assume that the English did not regard them as human beings at all, and this was clearly seen in the Great Famine of the 19th century.The Great Famine of 1845-1851 was crucial in shaping Ireland's attitudes towards British rule and leading to the nationalism that provoked the eventual uprising of 1916. The peasants lived on potatoes, it was their only crop, and when the crop was killed by disease famine struck. The potato was primarily grown because it could produce a relatively high yield with little intensive care. Many though relied on the crop and that is why the famine of 1845-1849 was so catastrophic. Ireland had a population of 8 million before the famine, 1 million died from the famine and another 1-2 million immigrated to America. Ireland's population, which had grown so strongly throughout the 18th century and early 19th century, had been shattered. The impact that the famine had on 1916 was simple: the English were blamed for the famine. The starving Irish could not understand why their crops of wheat were sent to England whilst they were dying. They could not understand why the Government - always willing to pass laws to damage Irish trade and economic interests - would give no help. The famine made the Irish realise that they need to take responsibility for their own affairs, and not rely on the leadership of other countries. This idea and the deep hatred for British rule by many Irish significantly shaped many values that the Irish held towards the English leading up to 1916, and still hold today.The issue of Home Rule had a great impact on the eventual uprising, and...

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