Target A01a: Ability to recall, select and deploy historical knowledge accurately, and communicate knowledge and understanding of history in a clear and effective manner.
Target A01b: Ability to present historical explanations showing understanding of appropriate concepts and arrive at substantiated judgements.
(2007) ‘Without the outbreak of the First World War, the Easter Rising of 1916 would not have taken place’. How far would you accept this statement?
The Great War was critical for a number of reasons, not least for
providing the opportunity to Irish Republicans seeking to rebel against
British rule in Ireland. However, it would be foolish to ignore the impact of
radical ideologies, significant individuals and the failures of British policy
when seeking to explain the origins of the Easter Rising in 1916.
Para 1 – Impact of WW1
The War proved catastrophic for moderate Nationalism in Ireland. The
IPP was discredited by the conduct of the War (including its high
casualties and indefinite length) and its resulting political effluence, such
as conscription and commitments to send Irish troops anywhere in the
Empire. The declarations of Woodenbridge caused the Volunteer split,
providing the die-hards who would supply the manpower necessary for the
Easter revolt. Redmond’s absence from the May 1915 coalition, and its
inclusion of many Tories, minimised IPP influence at a critical juncture.
Jackson comments that the coalition of May 1915 ‘replaced the pre-war
Liberal-Nationalist ‘understanding’, and that both the Irish party and Irish
issues were now of a massively diminished significance’. The political
vacuum left was only likely to be filled by radical republicanism. The War
also delayed the only alternative to separatism, Home Rule (Jenkins
describes it as being put into ‘cold storage’), and succeeded in providing
‘Ireland’s opportunity’ in terms of radical action against the British