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The Easter Rising Of 1916 Essay

1574 words - 7 pages

Irish citizens took upon themselves the responsibility of overthrowing the British Government in Ireland during the “Easter Rising of 1916”, which was the result of centuries of rights violations against the Irish by the British. Oppression of the Irish began in A.D. 1367 with the Statute of Kilkenny, which restricted the traditions of the Irish and placed them under the authority of the English in Ireland. (Hardiman) Oppression of the Irish was expanded in the late 1600s and early 1700s with a series of penal laws. These laws were directed at “Papists” or Irish Catholics, and restricted everything from education to the right to own weapons. (umn.edu)
The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) was formed in the mid 1800s to press the British out of Ireland. Their actions included an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the London Bridge on December 13, 1884. At the start of World War I, the IRB decided to attempt an uprising in Dublin. Originally the uprising was planned as a distraction to allow German support to land in Ireland. The Germans sent arms to the Irish in early 1916, but the British intercepted the boat, ending German involvement. (1916rising.com) The failed German support delayed the Rising from Easter Sunday to the following monday.
The Easter Rising began on the morning of April 24, 1916. The rebellion opened with rebels seizing several buildings including the Dublin General Post Office which was used as headquarters for the rebels. An official report made by General John Maxwell of the British army describes the guerrilla warfare used by the insurgents; “mixing with peaceful citizens made it almost impossible for the troops to distinguish between friend and foe until fire was opened. In many cases troops having passed along a street seemingly occupied by harmless people were suddenly fired upon from behind from windows and roof tops.” (Maxwell, firstworldwar.com)
The rebellion was put down after British reinforcements arrived. Rebels officially abdicated on April 29, less than a week after the beginning of the rebellion. The rebels surrendered peacefully after they received the orders from the rebel command post in the Dublin General Post Office; “There was general surprise but no protest.” (McCarthy, 77)
The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) believed in certain rights that all humans possessed, and fought to regain these rights from the British. “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland” (Clarke, Poblacht Na H Eireann) The IRB used acts of terrorism to pressure the British initially, but during the Easter Rising they used all out warfare to forcefully free Ireland. The Rising was unsuccessful, but it brought attention to Ireland’s plea for freedom.
Rights of Irish was a central focus of the Rebels during the Easter Rising. Irish discrimination was in existence for centuries before the 1910s when the rebellion happened, there were no Irish Catholics alive who could remember a time...

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