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Session 5

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1. What in terms of legislative independence would Home Rule, if it had ever been implemented, have meant for Ireland? In other words, how much real independence would it have given us? Would the granting of Home Rule at any stage between 1886 and 1912 have settled the 'Irish Question', or would it have caused even greater trouble?
Think of the violent opposition of the British Conservative Party to what they thought would lead to the dismemberment of the British Empire. Think of the equally violent opposition of the Unionists (North and South) to the threat of the destruction of their "cherished position of equal citizenship in the United Kingdom."

2. Two short related questions: (i) 'The Easter Rising was the first act in the War of Independence.' Discuss.
(ii) Explain the immediate reaction of the British government to the Easter Rising.

Think of what effects the Rising had on Irish nationalists, on popular feeling towards those executed and on future recruitment into Sinn Fein and the IRA. Remember, 1916 was a terrible year in the Great War (1914-1918) for Britain. Despite her attempts to bring the USA into the war (with the sinking of the Lusitania, Feb. 1915), she was unsure of ultimate victory and was losing thousands of men every single day in trench warfare on the Western Front. If you were in the British War Office in 1916, how would you have reacted to the 1916 Rising?

Oh! What a Lovely War (1969):

Copyright ©2008 Aidan Breen, Ph.D.