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The Easter Rising Of 1916 Essay

2314 words - 9 pages

The Easter Rising of 1916 The Easter Rising of 1916 had profound and far-reaching effects on
Ireland's subsequent history. It has been referred to as 'The Irish
War for Independence' and was the pivotal event in ultimately securing
independence for the Republic of Ireland.

For centuries, Ireland had been under English rule, the English
perceiving the Irish to be barbarians who had to be tamed. The
invasion by King Henry II of England in the twelfth century, the
attempts by future English monarchs to colonize Ireland with English,
the massacres orchestrated by Cromwell (1652), and the way the English
had treated the Irish during their 'darkest hour' (The Famine
1845-1852) had all contributed to the growing dissatisfaction among
the Irish natives. Many had attempted rebellions before, none had
succeeded in obtaining what most of the Irish population desired - a
free country, one in which they could claim back their rightful
heritage as landowners.

Several events led up to the 1916 Rising, all of which had bearing on
what would take place. Firstly, the centuries of national oppression
by British landlords and increasing capitalism had led to the
formation, in a Dublin timber yard, of the Irish Republican
Brotherhood or I.R.B. in 1858. They were direct descendents of the
rebels known as the Fenians. Their numbers never exceeded more than
2000 men, who were mostly intellectuals - writers, poets, teachers,
professionals - and they were very reliable. Notably, they were
prepared to use force in order to get national independence for

Another military force had been created on November 13, 1913, as a
direct counterforce to the Ulster Volunteer Force, the latter of which
had been formed by the English as a resistance to Home Rule. The Irish
Volunteers numbered around 200,000 Irish men and women, but only 2,000
were trained and armed. These two Irish armies were therefore waiting
to fight for their country. Also, around the turn of the century, the
English had tried to reduce the rights of Irish workers. The socialist
and General Secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers
Union, James Connolly, supported a rebellion by the workers. The two
sides reacted differently to the prospects of Home Rule. Nationalists
like Redmond for e.g. said ‘Irish Nationalists can never agree to the
multination of the Irish Nation. Ireland is a unit. The two-nation
idea is an abomination.Unionists on the other hand did not want home
rule if it meant that their culture and tradition was to be submerged
into a catholic state.

Before the English could impose more laws on the Irish, another event
occurred which would have massive impact - World War 1. This was the
opportunity the I.R.B had been waiting for....

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