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With the expectation of binding England and Ireland together, the Act of Union in 1801 abolished Irish parliament resulting in Ireland being governed directly from Westminster. Consequently, two forms of nationalism opposing British rule arose; ‘constitutional nationalism’ which aimed to restore a measure of self-government through political influence and legal reforms whereas ‘revolutionary nationalism’ hoped to form an independent Irish republic through violent methods such as the use of force. Although constitutional nationalism achieved a number of reforms as well as gaining popular support during the beginning of the 19th century, Revolutionary nationalism achieved more overall in regards to its initial aim. Both nationalist movements advanced their cause with varying effectiveness, however the extent to which they can be considered successful is determined by strong leadership, the degree of popular support, strong methods and the ability to overcome resistance from Great Britain. Most importantly, the extent of change accomplished must be considered when determining the success criteria, and whether such changes achieved long term effectiveness in regards to the aims of both movements.
Constitutional nationalism thrived in the 1800’s, arguably more so than revolutionary nationalism, particularly as a result of Daniel O’Connell (constitutional leader) who advanced the cause extremely effectively and brought upon a number of highly significant changes. Such change can be seen through the establishment of association groups such as the Catholic Association and national repeal association which helped generate a huge number of mass support, further increasing the popularity of the constitutional cause. The success of the catholic association can be seen by the impact it had on all segments of catholic life; the middle class, clergy and catholic aristocracy were all involved, thus showing the unity of Irish Catholics. Also, the ‘catholic rent’, a subscription fee afforded by the poor strengthened support as a result of thousands being able to join, further showing the popularity of the association. Arguably, Constitutional’s greatest success in this period was O’Connell’s ability to secure Catholic Emancipation in 1829, mainly by winning the county Clare elections in 1928. This was a great achievement for Irish nationalism completed by constitutional methods, as it reduced and removed many restrictions brought upon the Irish by the Act of Union in 1806, hence gaining the support of the masses as well as setting a reminder to many for being one step closer to achieving their goals.
Despite the successes, the attempt for the repeal of the act of union was ineffective, due to O’Connell’ failure to secure the act within the peak of the campaign between 1841 and 1847. The demand for the repeal was popular among the Irish (made so by O’Connell), and its failure can be considered to have impacted the emancipation era, causing O’Connell to appear weak and ineffective. This was emphasized by his seemingly peaceful and moderate attitude which worsened public opinion due to his support from the Whigs who had joined British opinion in denying the repeal campaigns. Robert Kee’s provides a similar argument, claiming that the repeal movement had ‘no means of putting pressure on the government’, except by the ‘threat of armed rebellion which O’Connell made clear he would not countenance’. Kee offers a valid argument, as to a certain extent O’Connell’s ‘no compromise slogans’ and the declaration of 1843 being a ‘repeal year’ emphasizes the view that O’Connell was committed towards a cautious direction, despite such statements not taking effect, specifically evident in O’Connell’s submission to the Clontarf meeting in 1843. However, Kee’s view is limited when taking into consideration O’Connell’s efficacy, especially in regards to O’Connell’s rise in support through actions such as the national subscription fees; the repeal rent and the catholic rent which were both massive successes, most evident in January and March 1825 where the 1p a month catholic rent generated £9236 therefore reinforcing his public support and opinion. Also, Kee undervalues O’Connell’s success, as during the peel campaigns, O’Connell funded catholic priest education which caused Peel to be to be threatened, highlighting O’Connell’s power as well as popularity. Despite such successes, O’Connell’s achievements are somewhat limited as a result of yielding to the British, for example the repression of the catholic association by the British government emphasized O’Connell’s failure as a leader due to his inability to prevent the government’s reaction which reduced his popularity and resulted in considerable backlash. Therefore, O’Connell’s constitutional methods can be considered a failure due to willingly submitting to the British government’s demands thus hindering any real progress from occurring.
Kee being a journalist and newspaper editor makes his argument more convincing due to the critical approaches he must have attained when working in such environment. However, such profession may provoke Kee to become more inclined towards a particular viewpoint, thus causing his argument to seem more bias. Kee’s friendships with prominent figures such as George Orwell or AJP Taylor may have influenced his political opinion, resulting in leniency toward socialist sympathies and therefore his argument about O’Connell’s impotence towards the British government could be a result of surrounding left wing influences. Also, Kee’s involvement in WW2 and being confined in a German POW camp may have provoked empathy as well as understanding towards martyrs and imprisoned nationalists due to experiencing similar brutal treatment. Kee’s support for the release of Guildford Four, Maguire seven and Birmingham six is evidence of mutual compassion, and therefore his views could be deemed one sided due to being more sympathetic towards the revolutionary cause.
In addition to the argument made by Kee, it could be argued that the number of failures experienced had immensely reduced the overall success of constitutional nationalism. For example, the Litchfield house compact of February 1835 led to unpopular reformation bills such as the poor law act, the coercion bill and notably the municipal co operations which resulted in 58 co operations being shut down leaving many unemployed, thus heightening discontent and unpopularity among the Irish masses. Despite the huge success of the monster meetings with an estimated 3 – 4 million in attendance, O’Connell’s submission to the government who banned the monster meetings for being too rebellious, enabled the police to arrest O’Connell for 6 months hence emphasising weakness in his leadership due to his inability to defend the cause. In addition to this, O’Connell’s departure from young Ireland in 1846 was a substantial loss for constitutional nationalism, ensuing the loss of enthusiasm and devotion for his repeal campaigns. Therefore, despite securing catholic emancipation, O’Connell failed to achieve the act of union which can be seen as a huge failure in regards to not accomplishing the real aim.
However constitutional nationalism was predominantly more successful in comparison to revolutionary nationalism when considering the extent of change achieved during this period. This is evident in the humiliating and highly disorganised rebellion led by revolutionary nationalist Robert Emmet in hopes of removing the unpopular act of union in 1801. Nevertheless, the cause can be considered successful when considering the legacy set by Emmet’s rebellion; Emmet’s passionate and powerful speech during his trial regarding the protection of Ireland and the separation from Britain was vital in establishing him as a martyr willing to die for the revolutionary cause, consequently setting the tone for future action groups (e.g. Sinn Fein) and enhancing revolutionary nationalism’s aspiration. Therefore, it could be argued that the legacy set by the Emmet rebellion heightened the success of revolutionary nationalism, as it succeeded in achieving long term effectiveness in the future.
Nonetheless, revolutionary nationalism’s weak leadership and chaotic methods greatly reduced the impact of the revolutionary cause. This is evident in the revolutionary nationalist group ‘young confederation’ led by John Mitchell which largely consisted of disgruntled young Ireland members after the split between young Ireland and Daniel O’Connell in 1846. The arrest of John Mitchell and other leading members such as Gavin Duffy in 1848 left the group without a leader, thus demonstrating poor leadership and disorganisation. Furthermore, the humiliating rebellion in 1848 led by young Ireland dubbed ‘the battle of widow McCormack cabbage pack’ was a huge disaster for revolutionary nationalism; their actions were small in scale (only attracted small support mainly from young and literary people as well as middle class farmers) with the police immediately crushing the rebellion. Most importantly, it did not have a lasting impact on the Irish question, leading to the Irish confederations swift exit from the scene, showing the temporary failure of revolutionary nationalism during this period. Despite such failures, it could be argued that the achievement of their own newspaper ‘the united Irishmen’ was a fundamental success for revolutionary nationalism as it helped spread their aims and popularity, thus securing more followers and greatly increasing the recognition of the cause.
Furthermore, it could be argued that revolutionary nationalism achieved more than constitutional nationalism in the 19th century despite the number of reforms made by the constitutional cause. The formation of the Fenians in 1867 whose aim were to achieve Irish independence through the rejection of constitutional methods can be regarded as vital to the revolutionary movement. The Fenians are commonly regarded as failures, most specifically due to their lack of support because of the fear of excommunication (in regards to its secrecy) and because of its clear disorganization. The poorly executed attack on a van in Manchester in hopes of releasing their leader ‘Col.Tom Kelly’ resulted in the accidental shooting of a police officer, consequently leading to arrests and the severe conviction of ‘murder’ of the rebels. The response of the British was vital in the overturn of public opinion toward the Fenian movement and the success of the revolutionary movement is perfectly encapsulated in source A where the view of the arrest, trial and execution of the ‘Manchester martyrs’ were recognized as a miscarriage of justice. The author of the source, Joseph O’Neill was a primary witness to the event, being seven at the time of the attack and therefore had a first-hand experience of changing attitudes within Ireland without being censored by the media or mainstream opinion which increases the value of the source. By claiming that the prison breakout had an ‘enormous psychological’ and ‘symbolic importance’, this clearly supports the view that the attack was of huge symbolic significance and therefore was successful in gaining the support and empathy of the masses. This is most evident by the harsh methods used by the police such as the incorrect arrest of Maguire (an Irish marine) and the release of Edward Condon, (one of the masterminds of the attack) specifically as a result of his American citizenship, therefore emphasizing the Fenian view that the real crime of their cause was to be Irish. However, to an extent, the source is limited as its negative and inspiring tone can be seen as somewhat bias towards the Manchester martyrs and against the British government, thus making the source less reliable. This can be seen where the source claims that the attack had defied the ‘government’s very seat of power’. Although the attack did provoke harsh reaction towards the British, it was a huge failure in regards to achieving its aims and therefore this claim is seen as a very high exaggeration. Also, the source fails to mention that the crime was contained under ‘constructive murder’ and therefore by the standard of the time, the punishment isn’t unjust. Hence, the omissions by the source emphasizes the view that it is clearly trying to portray the rebels as victims of injustice which further heightens their roles as ‘martyrs’. Therefore, the bias undertones greatly reduces the reliability of the source.
However, despite being seen as a failure due to the inability of achieving their aims, the source is highly valuable in emphasizing the success of the attack on Manchester, by claiming how the prison breakout had ‘boosted morale’ by ‘defying the British government in the very seat of power’ thus showing how the breakout was important in aspiring revolutionists in Ireland at the time, as well as significantly establishing a legacy for the movement in the future. Thus, the source is highly useful in symbolizing the importance of the ‘Manchester martyrs’ and the success it achieved in shaping the revolutionary cause.
To a certain degree, the Fenians could be considered as failures, specifically due to the attack in London where an attempt made to rescue a Fenian prisoner resulted in around thirty people being blown up which furthermore emphasizes how disorderly and chaotic the Fenians were in their practice. In addition to this, the Fenians consisted of many internal disputes, with Stephens being involved in many bickering and arguments with other leaders at a time where unity and the demonstration of peace and solidarity was essential therefore leading to his removal as ‘head center’ in may 1866. However, it could be argued that the Fenians were to a degree successful in moving a step closer to achieving Irish nationalism sue to the support they were gradually achieving. This is evident during the controversial funeral of Terrence Ballew McManus in Ireland where 12,000 people attended showing the popularity of the Fenians. Also, the creation of the ‘young Irish’, the Fenians Irish newspaper was a major success as it helped build support and awareness to the cause. However, although the young Irish was a fundamental success to revolutionary nationalism, it could be argued that it failed to capture much favour, as it was quickly suppressed by the English government in 1865 which also arrested many leading Fenians, once again showing how unorganized and ineffective the Fenians were. Arguably, the Fenian’s biggest success was focusing Gladstone’s attention on the Irish question, leading to Gladstone’s first Irish reform, the first land act of 1870 which provided tenant rights and therefore gained support from the Irish people. In addition to this, the Fenians played a significant role in the revival of Irish culture such as music and literature and therefore, was significant in Irish society. Overall, despite failing to achieve major reforms for Irish nationalism due to weak leadership and poor methods, the Fenians were significant in providing the legacy for revolutionary nationalism, as their aims and violent methods inspired major events such as the Easter rising in 1916 and the revival of republicanism.
To a certain extent, it can be argued that constitutional nationalism during the 1800’s were more successful than the Fenians, particularly as a result of strong leadership, provided by Charles Stewart Parnell whose main objective was to achieve home rule. Arguably, the failure of the first home rule bill (introduced by Isaac butt) which resulted in humiliating backlash had helped the Irish parliamentary party in gaining a positive momentum; the leadership of Parnell greatly enhanced the reputation of the Irish parliamentary party, increasing its parliamentary force as well as establishing a more authoritarian leadership with greater discipline. However, in spite of this, Parnell failed to deliver the home rule bill which was his main objective. In this sense, constitutional nationalism can be seen as a failure in terms of achieving more for Ireland, as its leniency towards Britain prevents any beneficial and long term reforms from happening. This is evident when attempting to pass the second home rule bill, where opposition from Ulster and conservatives prevented the bill from happening.
The struggle over home rule and the divide that it caused within Ireland can be seen in SOURCE B. The source is written by Gladstone, a current liberal leader who is declaring in favour of home rule by arguing that the majority in Ireland are supportive of the bill, and therefore places great emphasis on behalf of the constitutional argument. The source is written by a leading political figure, which enhances the value of the source as it provides an insight into the opinions of the country as well as the state in which Ireland is in. Despite the source being a supporter of home rule, it also provides a huge insight into the opposition regarding home rule and its inevitable failure due to such resistance. The source immediately casts doubt regarding the opinion of Gladstone, as he may be using his political influence to help shift public opinion regarding home rule in order to forward his own goals. The partisan nature of the source is evident through the use of emotive language such as the ‘voice of Ireland’ in regards to constitutional support, and therefore Gladstone can be regarded as adopting a moral and guarded tone in an attempt to satisfy and perhaps prevent the violent form of nationalism commonly used by the Fenians from returning. This causes Parnell’s methods to be considered less successful as a result of being defeated by personal aims and questionable motives. Also, by the date of 1886, the prominent majority of unionists and conservatives in the house of lords and commons would have most likely prevented the home rule bill from moving forward, thus strengthening the view that home rule was a failed attempt from the beginning due to defiance from the British government, which further emphasizes the unavoidable failure of the constitutional objective.
However, to a certain degree, Gladstone convincingly argues that Ireland is ‘constitutionally spoken’, as Parnell gained major popularity and support during this period of time through methods such as the second land act which granted the three F’s – fair rent, fixed tenure and free sale thus satisfying tenants by granting their major demands. Also, to an extent, Parnell reduced the influence of violent opposition. Parnell successfully persuaded most members of the Fenians (a revolutionary group) to adopt a more nonviolent policy, which provided a sense of respectability to the cause, thereby enabling conservative administers to consider doing business with them – a major achievement which was capable of withstanding the political upheaval caused by the phoenix murders, further emphasizing the strong leadership of Parnell. However, Parnell’s affair with Kitty Oshea in 1881 greatly reduced his popularity and support within and outside Ireland, which is evident in the split of the Irish parliamentary party that led to 47 MP’s turning against him, hence supporting the view that Parnell’s leadership had greatly disintegrated due to growing dislike and therefore goes against Gladstone’s argument that Ireland was ‘constitutionally’ spoken. Also, to a certain degree, the source has limitations as it omits the extent of opposition and division which home rule caused within Ireland; Gladstone declaring that he will never allow a ‘protestant minority’ to ‘rule the question at large for Ireland’ is a clear exaggeration, as resistance from Ulster is what ultimately caused the home rule bill to fail. Such resistance in 1886 by unionist majority is also seen in 1893 where a second home rule bill was put forward by Gladstone, but was once again declined because of the conservative and unionist majority in the upper house which further highlights the inevitable failure of home rule due to constant opposition from the ulster ‘minority’. This source is highly useful as it reveals its common attitude towards the Fenian problem and therefore emphasizes the problems that home rule will cause and the potential dislike that it will bring, thus undermining Parnell’s main objective and furthermore heightening his failure to win support over his cause as a result of continual defiance.
Also, the source emphasizes the division in Ireland when claiming that Gladstone will never allow a ‘protestant minority’ to ‘rule the question at large for Ireland’ which shows the hostility by Ulster towards the home rule bill and the defiance of support. Such resistance in 1886 by unionist majority is also seen in 1893 where a second home rule bill was put forward by Gladstone, but was once again declined because of the conservative and unionist majority in the upper house which further highlights the inevitable failure of home rule due to constant opposition. This source is highly useful as it reveals its common attitude towards the Fenian problem and therefore emphasizes the problems that home rule will cause and the potential dislike that it will bring, thus undermining Parnell’s main objective and furthermore heightening his failure to win support over his cause.
In addition to this, the rejection of the third home rule bill in 1896 underlines the failure of constitutional nationalism as it caused a huge majority of the Irish population to become greatly discouraged which was furthermore reinforced by the Irish parliamentary party being greatly divided thus causing many to withdraw their support.
The success of revolutionary nationalism is most evident during the period of 1900, largely as a result of Sinn Fein; an independent Irish republic which initially avoided the use of violence but were later significant in changing the aim of the public from one of home rule to the hope of independence. A vital aspect that led to 1900 being dominated by revolutionary success would be the effects of the first world war which resulted in the third home rule bill (introduced by John Redmond) in 1914 to be postponed, further enhancing nationalist disappointment towards the English government. The slow disintegration of the constitutional movement is emphasized by the split of the Irish volunteers which led to two groups; the nationalist volunteers who remained under the leadership of John Redmond and continued to fight in the first world war whereas the ‘Irish volunteers’ (under the leadership of Mac Neill) aimed to proclaim an Irish republic through an armed insurrection like Tone’s and refused to fight in the war. Notably, the Easter rising in 1916 which consisted of members from the Irish republican brotherhood, the Irish volunteers and the Irish citizen army led by schoolteacher and poet James Conolly was a major success in radicalizing mainstream Irish opinion despite the initial failure of a futile strategy, hostile attitude and lack of support. The extent of change in public opinion is seen in source C which is a letter written by George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright and critic who is clearly denouncing the reaction of the British government. The source is extracted from a letter written to the daily times within the year of the rising, and therefore is very valuable as it offers an insight into the emotional state of Shaw as well as Ireland through the constant criticism of the methods employed by the British government, thus potentially stimulating the personal involvement of the Irish audience who way be reading his opinion in the news. The source is highly valuable as it reflects the changing opinion within Ireland, specifically seen by the author of the source (Shaw) being an advocate of home rule. By using evocative language such as ‘martyr’ and ‘hero’, Shaw is clearly adopting a resentful and critical tone towards the British response whilst portraying the rebels as victims. Therefore, despite opposing Irish independence and revolutionary tactics, the attitude displayed by Shaw who is a supporter of constitutional change provides a highly useful insight into the overturn of public opinion and the gradual distrust and dislike towards the brutal response of the British government.
Also, the source is comprehensive as Shaw succeeds in encapsulating the changing opinion of the Irish public when claiming that the government was ‘entirely incorrect to slaughter them’. This is a clear reference to the severe methods used by the British towards the rebels, for instance the uphold of secret military trials, the arrest of 3000 Irish men and women, the execution of 15 members including all the leaders (except Connelly) and the barbarity in which prisoners and civilians were treated, resulting in increased hostility as a result of such severe punishment. In addition to this, the source argues that as result of the British reaction, the rebels have inevitably become a figure of bravery which is seen when claiming that such ‘slaughter’ of a man’s position would inevitably make him a ‘martyr’ despite recently being a ‘minor poet’. This is undoubtly referencing Patrick Pearce, a school teacher/poet who was executed among other leading rebels by a firing squad and therefore enhances the view that the rebels were reducing support towards the British by being seen as a symbol of resistance. Such shift of opinion by the public is seen in the election in February 1917 where Count George Plunkett, one of the fathers of the executed rebels beat one of Redmond’s candidate by a large number when campaigning as an independent nationalist thus showing the rising success of Sinn Fein – a revolutionary cause. The progress of Sinn Fein can further be seen in December 1918 where Sinn Fein won 73/105 Irish seats whereas the Irish parliamentary party was reduced to 7, which heightens the success of the revolutionary movement by showing the shifting momentum of attitude on behalf of the rebels and the revolutionary cause.
However, the source is a letter which is written to the daily news and therefore can be considered as limited when contemplating that it may be written with a view of later publication. The use of graphic language such as ‘prisoners of war’ and ‘slaughter’ maybe an attempt to persuade the audience of the victimization of the rebels and therefore is seen to be more lenient and bias towards the rebel cause thus reducing the source’ reliability and making it less valuable. Despite of this, the source is very useful as it provides a highly useful insight into the impact of the Easter rising and the shifting momentum of attitude on behalf of the British, thus supporting the view that the Easter rising was a crucial achievement in gaining the support of public opinion as well as rejuvenating the revolutionary Irish movement after years of being dormant.
In addition to this, the conscription crisis in 1918 which aimed to conscript 550,000 men including 150,000 from Ireland caused immense opposition to arise and greatly increased resentment towards the British and so helped to advance the revolutionary cause. Revolutionary nationalism’s success in achieving mass support is specifically evident in the general elections of 1918, where Sinn Fein won 73 seats thus having a democratic mandate for independence unlike the IPP who only secured 6 in comparison to 68 in 1910 therefore emphasizing the lack of interest towards constitutional nationalism among the Irish people. In comparison, constitutional nationalism was achieving far less in terms of both reforms and also, popular support. The negotiations in 1918 which resulted with both sides agreeing to a partition was a temporary success, as key unionists refused to countenance an immediate grant of home rule causing the discussion to collapse and many to abandon Redmond and join Sin Fein, furthermore highlighting the failure of constitutional nationalism. Also, the establishment of Dail set up by Sinn Fein was hugely symbolic and another significant contribution to nationalism, as Sinn Fein now had its own provisional government which set up its own courts and collected taxes. The support for Dail by the Irish people and the IRA under Michael Collins showed that the Irish had no loyalty towards the British and therefore had no legitimacy in ruling Ireland emphasizing the success of revolutionary nationalism and its acceptance by the majority in Ireland.
The failure of constitutional nationalism is furthermore heightened by the passing of the government of Ireland act in 1920; the establishment of the separate home rule bill didn’t satisfy the growing nationalist opinion thus causing discontent with the constitutional cause to worsen. It could be argued that the IRA’s campaign of murder and violent activities towards British soldiers was a major drawback, resulting in support for the revolutionist’ to falter as many members of the public were appalled by the actions undertaken. Such disappointment can be seen through J.J.Lee’s contemplation of the government Ireland act where he claimed that the ‘IRA proved powerless to prevent the imposition of the government of Ireland act (in 1920)’ and through the suggestion that during the negotiations, ‘Britain carried the far bigger gun’. Lee is blatantly questioning the success of the government of Ireland act through this interpretation by implying that the act was more of a British victory than an Irish achievement. By claiming that the ‘IRA were powerless to prevent the imposition of the government of Ireland act’, Lee convincingly argues how weak and defenseless the position of the IRA was, by suggesting their inability to resist the act, thus leading to the partition of northern and southern Ireland, an agreement not intended by revolutionists. Also, it can be argued that to a certain degree, the interpretation is reliable when claiming that Britain carried the far bigger guns. This could be seen when James Craig, ulster unionist leader was urged to accept Dublin rule by George through the threat of northern borders being re drawn by the boundary commission according to the population living there, thus most likely causing the nationalist areas of the six-county state to transfer to southern Irish jurisdiction. However, the argument could be seen as less convincing when omitting the increased support of the IRA as a result of the British government’ reaction. The response of the British government towards opposition once again helped overturn this opinion to one of support. The horrific actions of the ‘black and tans’ in an attempt to suppress revolutionary nationalism caused a major ‘guerilla war’ and resulted in increased anger and hatred towards the British, with many becoming unwilling to compromise thus expanding the popularity and support for revolutionary nationalism and making it more of a success.
Also, J.J.Lee’s involvement in the royal Irish academy and being an elected associate of the Seanad Eireann in 1993 could have influenced his political views and developed an inclination towards cultural nationalism, thus leading to a more critical approach when interpreting revolutionary or constitutional achievements. Lee’s Franciscan heritage may have impacted Lee’s perspective towards revolutionary tactics, and therefore his criticism of the IRA and his view of British triumph maybe a result of his basic principles of support and solidarity in the creation of a healthy society. Thus, such disapproval towards violence and extreme tactics (clearly undertaken by the revolutionary cause) could hinder the balance of his argument, making it less convincing.
Furthermore, the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 could be seen as a major failure as it resulted in Ireland to split, with Northern Ireland containing 6 of 9 countries in Ulster therefore guaranteeing a protestant majority. Also, Ireland would become a free state not republic; Ireland would remain in the British empire hence both Revolutionary nationalism as well constitutional failed to completely achieve their goals. However, despite falling short of their aims, the treaty is undeniably significant and most importantly the closest Ireland has come to achieving freedom and therefore as a result, revolutionary nationalism achieved much greater success in terms of freeing Ireland than constitutional.
To conclude, revolutionary nationalism achieved more significant reforms especially after the outbreak of the war, with constitutional nationalism gradually becoming a dying and faulty cause. The success of Sinn Fein and its clear organisation and stable leadership towards the end are all achievements of the success criteria and therefore reinforces the achievements made by the revolutionary cause. The Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 is a testimony of these successes, as it was undeniably closest in achieving an independent Irish republic unlike constitutional nationalism which only thrived during the early period. Thus, despite the creation of Ireland and Northern Ireland negating the aims and beliefs of the revolutionary movement, the formation was closest to achieving the aim of an Ireland free from British rule and therefore revolutionary nationalism achieved more for Ireland than constitutional.

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