The Irish Revolutionary Period

Declan McHugh
Mind Map by Declan McHugh, updated more than 1 year ago
Declan McHugh
Created by Declan McHugh over 5 years ago
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Mind Map on The Irish Revolutionary Period, created by Declan McHugh on 07/05/2016.

Resource summary

The Irish Revolutionary Period
  1. A period of political instability and armed conflict from 1912-1923 where Ireland struggled for its independence and developed the lasting changes still seen today
    1. Home Rule movement gains traction as John Redmond and his Irish Parliamentary Party hold the balance of power in the British House of Commons
      1. Irish Home Rule Movement: A push for Ireland to gain the ability of self government while still remaining in the United Kingdom
        1. Third Home Rule Bill is introduced in 1912
          1. Third Home Rule Act is passed in the UK Parliament in September 1914
            1. Act is immediately suspended as the First World War has just broken out
              1. Act is suspended until the end of the conflict
                1. Easter Rebellion: April, 1916
                  1. Irish Republicans take over key buildings in Dublin to proclaim an Irish Republic, one completely independent of the UK
                    1. The 6 day conflict leaves 500 dead, with many of those being innocents caught in the cross fire
                      1. British forces respond with numbers and heavy weaponry, using artillery to take down rebel locations
                        1. The heavy handed British response to the rising as well as its execution of rebel leaders contributed to many Irish favouring the republican view of an independent Ireland over a home ruled Ireland
                          1. The Irish Convention: July 1917-March 1918
                            1. Dealt with the question of Irish home rule following the Easter rising
                              1. Also aimed to place conscription on Ireland following massive British losses during the German Spring Offensive of 1918
                                1. While ineffective and short lived, it becomes the precursor to the Parliament of Northern Ireland
                                  1. December 1918 elections
                                    1. The nationalist Irish Parliamentary Party suffers a crushing defeat to the republican Sinn Fein party lead by Eamon de Valera
                                      1. Sinn Fein members refuse their seats in the British Parliament based in London and instead set up the First Dail, or an Irish Parliament in Dublin, effectively declaring Irish independence.
                                        1. The Dáil Éireann
                                          1. The Dail becomes the government of the Independent Ireland in January of 1919
                                            1. The Irish Republican Army is formed out of the volunteers who served to see an Independent Ireland, with many having fought in the Easter rising
                                              1. The War of Independence
                                                1. The Sides: British and Unionist Forces: 30,000 British troops, 10,000 Royal Irish Constabulary, 7,000 Dublin Metropolitan Police, 7,000 Temporary Constables or Black and Tans and 2,000 Auxiliary Division
                                                  1. The British belived the best way to fight the IRA was through the use of police forces such as the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police with the army acting as support for the police. Eventually as the conflict escalated the army became more widely used and paramilitary units such as the Black and Tans were created to fight the IRA. The black and Tans became infamous for committing multiple attacks on civilians, including murders and looting.
                                                  2. The Sides: Irish Republicans and nationalists: The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was created out of the Irish Volunteers who came to the publics image with the Easter Rebellion two years before. On paper they stood at 70,000 but really had 15,000 prepared with only 3,000 of those being active. The IRA's intelligence unit was the Squad, formed by Michael Collins, their purpose was to hunt and kill any British spies.
                                                    1. The IRA preferred hit and run tactics against their numerically superior and better equipped enemy. This allowed for minimal causalities while still remaining effective and creating fear among the enemy.
                                                    2. Early Conflict
                                                      1. While the Dail never outright advocated military means to gain Independence, small attacks on unionists by IRA members acting on their own accord force the Dail's hand into conflict
                                                        1. For the first year the conflict remained somewhat quiet with little fighting between unionists and nationalists
                                                          1. Early targets included the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks scattered in the country side. They were ill prepared for any attacks and also became ideal targets because of the amount of weapons they held.
                                                            1. The Irish Republican Police is created to replace the unionist RIC as the RIC is pushed from the countryside to the larger towns.
                                                              1. Michael Collins establishes the "Squad" to hunt down British spies. This is the start of the escalation of the conflict
                                                                1. Bloody Sunday
                                                                  1. November 21st, 1920
                                                                    1. "The Squad" kills 14 people from British Intelligence and wounds several more
                                                                      1. The RIC retaliates by shooting into a crowd at a football match. Killing 14 and wounding 65
                                                                        1. 3 republican prisoners are killed, many believe they are executed
                                                                          1. Further Escalation
                                                                            1. Ambushes in the weeks following Bloody Sunday kill and wound dozens of unionists
                                                                              1. Martial Law is declared
                                                                                1. Cork City centre is burned by the Black and Tans
                                                                                  1. January to July 1921
                                                                                    1. The violence reaches a peak
                                                                                      1. 70% of all casualties from the 3 year conflict occur within these 8 months
                                                                                        1. Fighting increases in major cities, including Dublin
                                                                                          1. With over 3,000 IRA members interned and mounting losses from constant action the IRA is at a weakened state by 1921. Unable to fight the British in conventional conflict the IRA stick to un- conventional warfare even as they run low on ammunition and supplies.
                                                                                            1. Truce
                                                                                              1. The conflict reaches the point of stalemate, the British are afraid the fight will drag on indefinitely while they slowly lose more men each month. The Irish are in their weakest state of the war and are drawing up plans to start bombing targets in London to counteract their own losses.
                                                                                                1. July 11th, 1921: A truce is declared as talks begin
                                                                                                  1. Sporadic fighting continues as the talks continue, creating tensions within the IRA
                                                                                                    1. Anglo-Irish Treaty (6 December 1921)
                                                                                                      1. Ratified by the Dáil Éireann, giving it legitimacy as the Irish Republics government in international eyes
                                                                                                        1. Gives Northern Ireland the option to remain in the UK, which they accept
                                                                                                          1. A provisional government is established and works with the already established Dáil Éireann.
                                                                                                            1. The treaty continues to cause splits among the IRA and Dail, with those opposed to the treaty saying it opposed the ideals of the Irish Republic they fought for in the war.
                                                                                                              1. The Split
                                                                                                                1. Differences over the treaty and the level of Irelands independence from Britain leads to a split among Irish forces.
                                                                                                                  1. Irish nationalists side on the side of the Provisional Government. This included Michael Collins who believed that over time Ireland could earn its total independence with the Provisional Government
                                                                                                                    1. Irish republicans wanted total independence and sought to continue fighting with the British and believed the nationalist had betrayed the ideals of the Irish Republic. Their political leader was Eamon de Valera, the one time President of the Dáil Éireann.
                                                                                                                      1. Attempts to maintain unity continue to fail and fighting breaks out
                                                                                                                        1. April- June 1922
                                                                                                                          1. 200 anti treaty republican IRA fighters take over several major buildings in Dublin's city centre. The plan was to cause fighting with British forces in the country causing the two sides of republicans and nationalists to unite
                                                                                                                            1. The nationalists wanted to avoid Civil war but also wanted to avoid British intervention and waited until late June to respond to the siege
                                                                                                                              1. After receiving threats of British Intervention, Michael Collins ordered the National Army to bombard the republican forces with artillery. The Irish Civil War had begun.
                                                                                                                                1. Fighting continued for two weeks as the Free state took control of Dublin
                                                                                                                                  1. The Irish Civil War
                                                                                                                                    1. The republicans were ill prepared to fight a conflict of this level and it showed in the battle of Dublin when the national army used artillery against them. Armed with small arms and a handful of armoured vehicles, the anti- treaty forces fought a defensive war. Using many of the same tactics they used against the British in the War of Independence. Their numbers never exceeded 15,000.
                                                                                                                                      1. The nationalists were well armed and equipped from the British government and had a large numerical advantage of nearly 50,000 men in arms by the end of the war. Their range of weapons, such as aircraft, armoured cars and artillery meant the Anti-treaty forces were at a terrible disadvantage.
                                                                                                                                        1. The first few weeks of the war saw the anti- treaty forces losing ground in all cities where they held a presence. Their only hope was guerrilla action in the countryside
                                                                                                                                          1. The death of Collins
                                                                                                                                            1. August 1922 sees an ambush kill the leader of the nationalist army causing other nationalists to begin retaliatory attacks and reprisals against the anti- treaty forces.
                                                                                                                                              1. The Free States president, Arthur Griffith, had died due to a brain haemorrhage days before, leaving two of the most respected nationalist leaders dead
                                                                                                                                                1. With the loss of their leaders and sustaining heavy causalities the Free States comes to the brink of collapse
                                                                                                                                                  1. September to December, 1922
                                                                                                                                                    1. The Free State passes legislation to authorize executions of anti- treaty forces. In total 77 official executions are committed with many more unofficially taking place.
                                                                                                                                                      1. Public opinion shifts towards the free state as anti treaty forces run low on supplies and active fighters
                                                                                                                                                        1. Ceasefire
                                                                                                                                                          1. With republican IRA units losing ground and men to the Nationalist army in late 1922, their morale plummeted as the rate of executions by the nationalists continued.
                                                                                                                                                            1. The death of Liam Lynch, the republican military leader, opened the door to Frank Aiken who was more willing to see the conflict was unwinnable for the republicans
                                                                                                                                                              1. May 24th, 1923: Aiken orders all Republican IRA members to dump their weapons and to stop fighhting
                                                                                                                                                                1. de Valera supports the order, stating, "Soldiers of the Republic. Legion of the Rearguard: The Republic can no longer be defended successfully by your arms. Further sacrifice of life would now be in vain and the continuance of the struggle in arms unwise in the national interest and prejudicial to the future of our cause. Military victory must be allowed to rest for the moment with those who have destroyed the Republic"
                                                                                                                                                                  1. Legacy
                                                                                                                                                                    1. Many of the republican fighters were eventually captured and jailed, reaching over 12,000 in jail at the end of the war.
                                                                                                                                                                      1. The war left rifts among Irish politics for decades to come as many of Irelands future politicians were fighters and leaders in the war.
                                                                                                                                                                        1. Ireland earned its independence in 1949, finally becoming a sovereign nation 33 years to the day of the Easter rising
                                                                                                                                                            2. Under the treaty Ireland gains autonomy but still remains in the British Empire, with the British Monarch as the head of state
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