Ireland Contemporary History

Ireland Contemporary History

From the 1 of January of 1801 and until 6 of December of 1922 Ireland as unit belonged to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Between 1845 and 1849 the potato crop, which had become almost exclusively the sole food of the vast majority of the Irish population, was systematically destroyed by a plague of parasites. The most humble population was deprived of their main and almost only food, which ended up causing a famine of catastrophic proportions, known as the Great Irish Famine. Around a million people perished of starvation, most wandering the roads after being evicted from their homes because they could not afford to pay their rent.

Emigration became a matter of life and death and there was a massive exodus of the Irish population to other countries such as England, Canada, Chile, Argentina and Australia, but especially to the United States. It is estimated that the famine reduced the Irish population, due to deaths and emigration, from 8 million people on the island in early 1845 to 4.5 million in late 1849.

In 1919, the majority of the members of parliament elected in the British general election of 1918 rejected their seats in the British House of Commons. Instead, they established an extra-legal Irish parliament called Dáil Éireann to rival. This Dáil declared independence in 1919 in the name of the proclaimed Republic of Ireland, during the Easter Rising. The republic did not gain any international recognition and led to the Irish War of Independence, from the Irish Republican Army against the United Kingdom. In 1921 representatives of the British government and the Aireacht (cabinet) of the Irish Republic negotiated an Anglo-Irish Treaty and created a new system of Irish legal self-government, known as dominion status.

A new Irish state with international recognition called the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) was created. The new free state would in theory encompass the entire island, subject to the condition that Northern Ireland (which had been created as a separate entity) could opt for expulsion and choose to remain as part of the United Kingdom, which did indeed. The remaining twenty-six counties of Ireland were converted into the Irish Free State, a constitutional monarchy under which the British monarch reigned (from 1927 with the title of King of Ireland). It had a governor general, a bicameral parliament, a cabinet called the Executive Council and a prime minister called the President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State. The constitution was called the Constitution of the Irish Free State.

According to topschoolsintheusa, the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty generated a sector contrary to the Treaty that was led by Éamon de Valera, who started the Irish Civil War. The wing of the IRA opposed to the agreement took over the Four Courts building, located in the center of Dublin, on April 13, 1922. The March 26, they had rejected the authority of the Dáil Éireann and elected their own executive military body. The defending faction of the Treaty attacked the rebel forces of the IRA on June 28, due to the need to consolidate its authority in southern Ireland and pressure from the British government to eliminate elements that could oppose armed resistance to the pact. The Battle of Dublin lasted a week and was a decisive victory for the defenders of the pact. New victories throughout the country consolidated the position of the pro-treaty forces. In the course of the civil war, Michael Collins, one of the leaders of the republican movement and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces favorable to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, was killed in an ambush.

In October 1922, the new government presented a law that granted the Army broad powers and allowed anyone in possession of arms or acting against the forces of the new State to be court-martialed and sentenced to capital punishment. . In retaliation, the Commander-in-Chief of the IRA Forces, Liam Lynch, gave the order to shoot the main leaders in favor of the agreement. The first murders took place on December 7. The response of the new government was to order the execution of four irregular Army officers who had been imprisoned since June; Faced with this action, the intransigent sector deposed its policy of attacks. The numerical superiority of men and resources of the governmental faction and the continuation of the executions (77 in total) began to decide the war in their favor at the beginning of 1923. On April 24, the irregulars laid down their arms. Since 1923, together with the United Kingdom, it forms part of the Common Travel Area.

On 29 December as as 1937 a new constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) which replaced the Irish Free State by a new state called Éire, or, in Castilian, Ireland was approved. Although the constitutional structures of this new state required a President of Ireland rather than a king, it was not yet a republic. The main role of the Head of State, symbolically representing the State before the other nations, remained an attribution of the king as an organism by statute law. The 1 of April of 1949, the Act of the Republic of Ireland declared to Éire like a republic, with the functions previously granted to the king delegated instead to the President of Ireland.

Although the official name of the State remained Éire, the term Republic of Ireland (officially a simple description of the new State) was adopted as its name. While the republic chooses to use the word Ireland to describe itself, particularly in the diplomatic circle (hence it is always the President of Ireland or the Constitution of Ireland), many states avoid using the term because of the existence of a second Ireland, Northern Ireland, and because the 1937 constitution claimed southern jurisdiction over the north. The use of the word ‘Ireland’ was adopted as an acceptance of that statement. This assertion, in what was known as Articles 1 and 2 of the 1937 Constitution, was eliminated in 1999.

From that year, the Irish State / Éire continued to be a member of the then British Commonwealth of Nations until the declaration of a republic in April 1949. Under the rules of the commonwealth, the declaration of a republic automatically removes the membership of the association. These rules were not modified until 1950 to allow the inclusion of India as a republic in the commonwealth. Although Ireland resigned its membership and chose not to renew it, it retained many of the privileges it was granted by it. Currently, for example, Irish citizens residing in the United Kingdom enjoy all the rights of citizenship, including the right to vote during parliamentary elections and even serve in the British forces,

Ireland joined the United Nations in 1955, and in 1973 the European Economic Community (now incorporated into the European Union). Irish governments have sought to achieve the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Great Britain against the violent conflict between paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles.

At present, a peace treaty, known as the Belfast Accord, approved in 1998 by elections in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, is being implemented for Northern Ireland.

Ireland Contemporary History