(No class Mar 3)

Where: The Hampton Inn

Cost: $115.00 for 4 session(s)

Type: In Person


Instructor: Richard A. Cosgrove, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society


By the end of the nineteenth century Anglo-Irish relations within the United Kingdom had become the ‘damnable question’ of British politics. Was it possible to revise the Act of Union (1801) in a fashion satisfactory to the Catholic south and the Protestant north? On the eve of World War I the campaign for Irish home rule with a devolved Parliament in Dublin appeared successful. Advocates for Irish independence, although small, saw the war as an opportunity. On Easter Monday 1916 some 1600 individuals made a bid for Irish freedom. Although soon suppressed, it remains the single most important event in modern Irish history.

Week 1: The Back Story
Irish discontent within the United Kingdom waxed and waned throughout the nineteenth century. Irish history was dominated by politicians such as Daniel O’Connell and Charles Parnell and by events such as the campaign for Catholic Emancipation and the Great Famine (1845-1850). From 1886 to 1914 home rule persisted to trouble politics.

Week 2: The Prelude
World War I put domestic politics into the background. Home rule passed but was immediately suspended for the duration of hostilities. The introduction of conscription caused many in Ireland to ponder whether they should serve. By 1916 the stalemate on the Western front caused some in Ireland to plan a ‘blood sacrifice’ in which Irish liberty would be reborn.

Week 3: ‘A Terrible Beauty’
That moment came on 24 April 1916 when rebels seized the General Post Office in downtown Dublin, proclaimed the existence of the Irish republic and held out for six days against the British military. When the British shot 14 leaders of the Rising in the aftermath, its significance was assured.

Week 4: The Legacy
From 1916 to 1923, when the Irish Free State was established, Irish was convulsed by an Anglo-Irish war and then an Irish civil war. Not until 1949 was an independent Republic founded in the 26 southern counties. The dream of a 32 county Ireland never died, and the ‘Troubles’ from 1969 to 1998 brought a heavy cost in lives.

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Register for The Easter Rising

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