The Two Irelands, 1912-1939

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The partition of Ireland created two states embodying rival ideologies and representing two hostile peoples. This book concerns the revolution which prompted partition, and the legacies of that revolution for the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland.

Though less bloody than the nationalist uprising after 1916, Unionist defiance against Home Rule proved equally effective in wresting concessions from a hostile British government. Despite their mutual antagonism, the two revolutionary movements were strikingly similar in their reliance on fraternal solidarity and intolerance of dissent. Both new states were immediately engulfed by civil war, resulting in the ruthless suppression of dissident southern repulicans and northern Catholics. The power of each revolutionary elite was consolidated at the expense of alienating substantial minorities, although republican opponents of the Free State (unlike northern Catholics) eventually joined the democratic process.

This is the first sustained attempt to integrate the political history of the two Irelands in the era of revolution and partition. It provides an unexpected and provocative slant on each individual history.

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Oxford University Press
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