Revenge Strategy, Wasting the power of your hate on the guiltless (XXIX): The Anglo Irish Economic War antecedent history.
Have a lovely Friday. As accustomed, before starting, I will share a new aquarelle exercise.
I assume you are thrilled to start a new relaxing weekend. And here we are, with a mission for today:
What is the historical context of the Anglo-Irish Trade (Economic) War?
Ireland has been positioned to the left side of Britain, separated by the Irish Sea. At the closest point, Scotland (part of United Kingdom) and the North Antrim Coast of Ireland are just twelve miles apart, and the migration of people between the two countries has been going on for centuries. If we wish to grasp why the Anglo-Irish economic war came about, it is suitable to rewind a bit.
In the late 12th century, the first British entrance to the Irish island occurred. These British settlers’ journey is known as the Anglo-Norman invasion to the Irish island. And throughout the subsequent eight centuries, Ireland was dominated by Great Britain. The British colonizers were known as the “Old English” landlords, who displaced the original Irish landholders. These British lands on Irish territories or “plantations” became prosperous in the early 17th century, particularly around a new hub, Ulster, the northernmost province of Ireland. Geographically we can observe that the northern part of Ireland has always been the nearest point to Scotland, and there is no doubt why the Ulster Plantations (run by English and Scottish) developed as a region where the Protestant English settlers outnumbered the indigenous Irish, keeping the British Identity and loyalty to the British Crown, fundamentally strongest.
When arriving in the first half of the 19th century, a relevant emergency befell. Meanwhile, Britain´s first industrial revolution was in full bloom, Ireland´s agricultural economy was deeply sabotaged. The agriculture dropped in value, real estate rentals declined, and the rural population conditions of living changed completely when the Great Potato Famine shocked Ireland´s, literally, at its roots. In the blink of an eye, roughly a million people died of starvation when their core food, the potato, got sick by a plague which rotted the potato rhizomes in the ground. Rural Irish people decided to emigrate to the USA and other parts of Europe, meanwhile, the rest died. By 1900s Ireland´s population was less than half of what it had been before the famine.
It is time to speak about the Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin means in Irish “We Ourselves” or “Ourselves Alone”. Sinn Féin advocated nationalism and frequently it was associated with democratic socialism (left-wing). Arthur Griffith has been associated as the founder of the ideology Sinn Féin (1902), which included passive resistance to the British, withholding of taxes, and the establishment of an Irish ruling council and independent local courts. By 1905 the name Sinn Féin had been transferred from the policy to its adherents. Another Sinn Féin´s leader, Eamon de Valera, was able to win the majority of the Irish seats in the British Parliament in 1918, and through a political move, they were able to declare themselves free from Britain administration.
Subsequently, a conflict of guerrilla triggered the Irish War of Independence from Great Britain, which took place between 1919 and 1921. Who was behind this conflict? The emergence of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), organized to resist British administration and to secure recognition for the government of the Irish republic. “The IRA launched widespread ambushes and attacks on police barracks, while British forces retaliated with ruthless reprisals”. In addition, Sinn Féin as a political party was settled while the legislative wing of the IRA. The initial origins of the IRA lie within the Anglo-Irish War (1916–21), which resulted in the creation of the Irish Free State in 1921.
According to Britannica.com, “The ensuing Anglo-Irish War (Irish War of Independence, 1919–21) between the IRA and the British army was ended by the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921), which was negotiated by representatives of Sinn Féin—most notably Michael Collins—and British officials, including Prime Minister David Lloyd George. The treaty did not grant Ireland full independence, however. Twenty-six of the 32 counties of Ireland became the Irish Free State, which held dominion status within the British Empire until its withdrawal from the Commonwealth in 1949; the remaining six counties, sometimes referred to as the province of Ulster, continued to be part of the United Kingdom. The treaty split Sinn Féin into two factions, one supporting the treaty under the leadership of Collins and the other opposing the treaty under Eamon de Valera. The two sides fought against each other in another Irish civil war (1922–23), which ended in the defeat of the anti-treaty forces”. After Dáil Éireann (Irish Assembly) ratified the treaty by a small majority (1922), Eamon de Valera supported the republican resistance in the ensuing civil war. We will visit who was Eamon de Valera on our next publication.
As mentioned previously, the Anglo-Irish Treaty that ended the War of Independence, created the Irish Free State in the south. It also allowed Northern Ireland the option of remaining outside of the Free State. Indeed, in 1922, Northern Ireland began functioning as a self-governing region of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland´s population was a two-thirds protestant and one-third Catholic. Belfast, one of the cities of Northern Ireland flourished economically because of two new nascent industries: linen-making and shipbuilding. The religious dominance of the Protestants provoked restrictions on good job access to Catholics, and the privilege representation and policies were routed to the Protestants. The eternal conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland started in this context. Catholics argued that they were discriminated against when it came to the allocation of public housing, appointments to public service jobs, and government investment in their neighborhoods.
The Irish Free State, or the southern big part of Ireland, was established under the terms of the treaty with the same constitutional status as Canada and the other dominions in the British Commonwealth.
This split between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State is known as the partition. In 1926, after a dispute concerning the conditions under which Sinn Féin would take part in elections for the Dáil (Irish Assembly), Eamon de Valera resigned as Sinn Féin leader and founded the Fianna Fáil party, which absorbed most of Sinn Féin’s original membership. Sinn Féin was killed forever. In the election of 1927, Sinn Féin earned only 2.7 percent of the seats of the Dáil. And the new party of De Valera´s Fianna Fáil (“Soldiers of Destiny”), started its own episode, which is extremely relevant to understand the Anglo-Irish Economy War.
After Fianna Fáil party majority entered the Dáil, De Valera was elected later as the head of the new ministry, and De Valera embarked quickly on severing connections with Great Britain. He withheld payment of the land annuities, and our Anglo-Irish “economic war” began.
This is all for today´s post. In our next publication, we will answer the following strategic questions in relation to the Anglo Irish Trade or Economic War. Who was Eamon de Valera, the leader of the Anglo-Irish Trade Economic War? Why did the Anglo-Irish Trade or Economic War happen? Why did an economic war come after the political and Anglo-Irish guerrilla war described today? And finally, why do we need to learn these things, when it comes to our current economic happenings? Are revenge strategies in terms of economic trade policies a good thing or not?
Thank you. Blessings. See you next week. Savor your coffee!
Source of reference utilized to write this article:
Will be shared at the end of the next post.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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