Timeline of Anglo-Irish relations Prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion , Ireland was ruled through a system of small kingdoms. There was very little unity, with only Brian Boru, King of Munster, achieving anything like total dominion. This dissolved when he was killed defeating his rivals at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The first Anglo-Norman intervention in Ireland came in 1167. Henry landed with a large army in 1171, and by 1175 had succeeded in gaining nominal control of most of the island. By the middle of the 14th century the island had reverted to Irish control through conquest. In 1315, Edward Bruce(Scottish) was invited to lead the expedition to finish off the Normans but was killed in battle in 1318. Nonetheless, the English colony in Dublin was in dire straits. Henry VIII imposed his Reformation by force - In 1541, he was declared king of Ireland by the Irish parliament. New policies for controlling the colonised island were attempted, including 'plantation', English settlers were given lands confiscated from rebellious Irish families, and the native Irish were supposed to be driven out.
In the early 17th century, a bid for independence by Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone and the last of the great Irish chieftains, was ultimately defeated by the armies of Elizabeth I in the Nine Years War. O'Neill's surrender at Mellifont in 1603. The now leaderless Irish were unable to oppose the plantation of Ulster, where many of the new settlers were Scottish Presbyterians. Oliver Cromwell: Massacres and atrocities were committed by both sides, Catholic and Protestant. Cromwell finally subdued Catholic Ireland in 1653. James II (Catholic) was decisively defeated by William in Ireland, at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. The post-war settlement was harsh and designed by Ireland's Protestant 'Ascendancy class' to prevent a future uprising by the Catholic majority. A reform movement of 'patriots' began to lobby for representation (for the Protestant middle class only) in parliament, thereby sowing the early seeds of Irish nationalism. Act of Union A Bill joining Ireland and England comes into force in 1801. Prime Minister William Pitt, who had promised Catholic emancipation after Union, resigns when it is vetoed by George III.
Immense symbolic victory for the Irish, they challenged the Union itself in the 1830s and 1840s, (Repeal agitation.
The Protestant Ascendancy itself was called into question, or at least the importance of individual belief and ethics was recognised and tolerated.
Peel, once the arch-opponent of Catholic Emancipation, became a campaigner for conciliation towards the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland in the 1840s. Catholic Emancipation triggered, rather than resulted from this “growing spirit of tolerance” in Britain.
An abortive rebellion in 1848 reintroduced the use of violence as a means of achieving Irish autonomy.
The Fenians (Irish Republican Brotherhood) attempted an uprising in 1867, but it was a complete failure
'Land Act' - an attempt to resolve some of the injustices of Irish land ownership - in an attempt to pacify Ireland. It failed, only increasing the Irish desire to run their own affairs from Dublin.
1870 , Home Rule League :emergence of a parliamentary lobby group for Irish self-government. Its leader, Charles Stewart Parnell, put Home Rule firmly on the parliamentary agenda, but ultimately failed to achieve his goal.
The Fenians: " Hell is not hot enough nor long enough to roast the Fenians"
About 1,000 members of the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army seize key buildings in Dublin on Easter Monday, April 24.
They make their headquarters in the General Post Office where Patrick Pearse proclaims an Irish Republic.
The British forces surrounded the rebels who were hopelessly outnumbered. After six days of fighting Pearse surrendered. The British army, under General Maxwell, executed fifteen of the leaders.
We know their dream; enough To know they dreamed and are dead. And what if excess of love Bewildered them till they died? I write it out in a verse -- MacDonagh and MacBride And Connolly and Pearse Now and in time to be, Wherever green is worn, Are changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born. -- William Butler Yeats. Easter 1916 , William Butler Yeats Video
Fighting forces for and against the Easter Rising
The impact of the Easter Rising – the leaders were executed An artist´s impression of the scene inside the Dublin GPO British troops in the ruins of the GPO after the Rising
Charles Stewart Parnell , a Protestant Anglo-Irish landlord, presided over a veritable revolution in Irish politics in the 1870s and 1880s.
Irish catholic sense of identity : As the Church became more centralised and more self-confident so priests could stress the values of Catholic and rural Ireland to a receptive popular audience.
Cultural influences : The new awareness of Ireland´ s distinctiveness - that Ireland was different difference from Britain was also encouraged by a literary revival - both Gaelic and Anglo-Irish (Yeats)
Rise of the farmers : Agrarian agitation
The Land League: formed in 1879 by Michael Davitt to protect farmers from high rents and eviction
HOME RULE: The political expression of these cultural and social changes in Ireland was the demand for the repeal of the Union and the restoration of an Irish Parliament in Dublin.
Fenians: Founded in 1858 and committed to the violent overthrow of the Union and the establishment of an Irish Republic, the Fenians first tried d to organise a rising in Ireland, which failed miserably in March 1867.
The success of the National League was clearly demonstrated in the 1885 General Election. The Liberal government, led by WE Gladstone and supported by the Irish Parliamentary Party under Charles Stewart Parnell, introduced a Home Rule bill in the House of Commons. British and Irish Unionists (so-called because they defended the union of 1801) defeated it.
By the time another bill was introduced in 1893, Parnell was dead and his followers were acrimoniously divided.
Gladstone’s second attempt was passed by the House of Commons, but was rejected by the House of Lords.
Nineteen years were to pass before another Home Rule Bill was introduced in 1912.
The Home Rule Bill : This bill proposed the creation of a bi-cameral legislative assembly subordinate to the imperial parliament in London. It had carefully circumscribed powers over domestic issues and numerous constitutional safeguards to protect Protestants. The Home Rule Act reached the statute books with Royal Assent in September 1914 but, because of the First World War, its commencement was suspended for one year or for the duration of what was expected to be a short war.
Home Rulers sometimes predicted that with the passage of self-government, Irish politics would adopt a more British complexion, with a Liberal, Conservative and Labour party, all divided on prosaic and humdrum issues like tariff reform.
After the end of the war in November 1918 Sinn Féin ( founded on 28 November 1905, when, at the first annual Convention of the National Council, Arthur Griffith outlined the Sinn Féin policy which was "to establish in Ireland's capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation“ ) secured a majority of 73 Irish seats in the general election, twenty five of these seats taken uncontested. In January 1919 twenty-seven Sinn Féin MPs assembled in Dublin and proclaimed themselves unilaterally as an independent parliament of an Irish Republic, ignored by Britain. The Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) ensued.
Britain went ahead with its commitment to implement Home Rule by passing a new Fourth Home Rule Bill, the Government of Ireland Act 1920, largely shaped by the Walter Long Committee which followed findings contained in the report of the Irish Convention. Long, a firm unionist, felt free to shape Home Rule in Ulster's favour, and formalised dividing Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. The latter never functioned, but was replaced under the Anglo-Irish Treaty by the Irish Free State which later became the Republic of Ireland.
The Home Rule Parliament of Northern Ireland came into being in June 1921. At its inauguration, in Belfast City Hall, King George V made a famous appeal drafted by Prime Minister Lloyd George for Anglo-Irish and north–south reconciliation. The Anglo-Irish Treaty had provided for Northern Ireland's Parliament to opt out of the new Free State, which was a foregone conclusion. The Irish Civil War (1922-1923) followed.
1919-20 Campaign of violence by armed republicans (now the IRA).
British rule in South undermined by Sinn Fein.
Troops and police attacked ’ vicious tactics on both sides. Ulster remains firmly under British control
1920 Government of Ireland Act, partitioning Ireland.
1921 War continues.
Northern Ireland parliament opened by King George V (June).Truce (July).
Anglo-Irish Treaty signed (December), confirms Partition and sets up Irish Free State.
1922 Collins led the pro-treaty government forces, while de Valera leant his support to the anti-treaty 'Irregulars'. Dail approves Treaty but Sinn Fein splits, anti-Treaty faction led by Eamon de Valera. Michael Collins killed in this war.
De Valera would subsequently rejoin the political process and help steer southern Ireland to full independence in 1949.
In Northern Ireland, the IRA had begun a campaign of violence even before partition became a reality in 1921. In response, the Ulster Volunteer Force was revived and thus the new nation experienced sectarian bloodshed from its very inception .