Riley Losordo



Document Type



On December 6th, 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed, thus culminating a centuries-long battle for Irish independence. This, however, was the product of a long road of discourse, debate, and disagreement amongst both English and Irish alike. The corresponding question is: how did identity, ideology, and culture influence all sides of the Irish Question, on both the macro and micro levels, as it applied to Home Rule and independence since the establishment of the Act of Union in 1801? The goal is to analyze the ideologies of unionism and pro-independence movements in Ireland and England, including examining religion and national identity. This research utilizes primary sources such as the writings and words of prominent figures in support and contention with empire. Examples include the writings and words of Edward Carson, a prominent pro-empire activist who resided in Ireland, and the writings of former Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone. These sources allow me to interpret the shifts over time in ideological thought as it relates to culture, identity, and empire by examining popular opinion as it was revealed in electoral results, letters, oral histories, and other discourses. This research thus encompasses the thoughts, emotions, and mentalities of those who lived in both England and Ireland from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century to understand better how the fruits of rhetoric have changed and evolved over the course of the Home Rule movement in both England and Ireland. It also analyzes the nuances in public opinion that need to be reflected more in the literature relating to the Anglo-Irish conflict. The findings from this research will articulate that the Anglo-Irish conflict was both controversial and debated by both English and Irish alike. The point is that not all Irish were in favor of independence, while not all English were in favor of keeping and maintaining the Union, and that there was a fluid spectrum surrounding the arguments that pertained to Home Rule and independence.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Sarah Wiggins, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Meghan Healy-Clancy, Committee Member
Dr. Paul Rubinson, Committee Member

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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