The Birth of the Irish Free State, 1921-1923

By Joseph M. Curran | Go to book overview

Preface

More than half a century has passed since Ireland won freedom at the cost of partition and civil war. During that time, much has been written about the revolution of 1916-1923, because of its historic importance and enduring popular appeal. Not surprisingly, most of this attention has centered on the struggle with Great Britain rather than its immediate aftermath, when issues seem to lose clarity and drama turns to tragedy. Yet what happened in the revolution's final phase, from 1921 to 1923, has largely determined the course of Irish history and Anglo-Irish relations over the past fifty years.

In this book, I have tried to write a comprehensive and balanced account of that period, analyzing in detail both the background and the impact of the Treaty of 1921. If my work provides a fuller understanding of the conflicting forces that created—and almost destroyed—the Irish Free State, I will have succeeded in the task I set myself as a historian.

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