- This source shows part of the Act of Parliament that made Ireland
a Dominion with the power to rule itself.
- From 1919-21 Republicans in Ireland made the country virtually impossible
to govern. They set up alternative courts, taxes etc. They also attacked
British police and troops.
- The British poured troops into Ireland, but could not defeat the Irish
Republican Army (IRA). By the end of 1919 there were 43,000 British
troops in Ireland costing Britain £860,000 per year.
- Republicans were demanding that all of Ireland should become a republic
outside the British empire. Although the British could not defeat the
Republicans, the Republicans could not defeat the British either.
- Late in 1921 both sides called a truce and held talks. The Republicans
were forced to accept a compromise. Twenty-six counties of Ireland became
the Irish Free State. It ruled itself, but was still associated with
the British empire as a Dominion.
- Six counties of Ulster became Northern Ireland, which was still part
of Britain. The British government was not prepared to let the Republicans
rule over the Unionist stronghold in Ulster, where Irish Unionists wished
to remain part of the United Kingdom.
- The two sides agreed a treaty in December 1921 and Ireland was
partitioned in 1922. In the Free State the Republicans were bitterly
divided over the treaty. Some, like Eamon de Valera, refused to swear
an oath to the British monarch. A bitter civil war followed which killed
far more Irish people than the war against the British. Ireland eventually
became a Republic in 1949.