Hey everyone! im working on a paper on why is it that the anglo irish negotiations went wrong for the irish delegation, and i wanted to know your opinions about it.
Im emphasizing the fact that the irish delegation wasnt as prepared as the british one, and that they lacked of pre negotiation techniques?(as if to say, the uk real interest out of this 'deal', their alternatives,etcs) which basically let them to agree on what the brits imposed at the ento them.
(im not originally from ireland, but i do love irish history, so i would really appreciate your help!, cos well.. most of you are irish and im sure you know a lot more than i do!)
thanks in advance!
ps. i know this subject is kinda tabuish, and i dont wanna start a "collins vs de valera war.." so id really appreciate if we could keep it as objective as possible?
do you lot think that the valera was right about not going to the negotiations after what happened in the previous attempts he had with lloyd george? should he had explained the external conexion better to the delegation? were those delegates the right onces for the job, considering 2 of them specialized in finnances and not international relations?
was the partition already a resolved issue after the goverment of ireland act of 1920???(which would actually mean that there was no way the brits were gonna give up the north at any stage of the negotiations?)
De Valera has in my mind, being wrongly tainted with a Machiavellian perception of his refusal to lead the delegation. I honestly believe he sent a well balanced delegation, though it is absurd that our greatest statesman wasn't present at the negotiations.
The fundamental problem of the negotiations was that there was a certain line Britain would not cross, and between this line and the position the delegates aimed to achieve (External association at a minimum) neither side could meet. However, both continued to pedantically continue a very painstaking negotiation. Finally, the irish delegation were forced to crack, Collins and Griffith settled for the best deal on the table and under extreme duress from the threat of 'immediate and terrible war' by George.
The boundary commission, which any student of the treaty should never dare to overlook, was extremely vague but George managed to persuade Collins and Griffith that it would essentially withir up the northern state, more or less taking the north out of the anti treaty argument in the Dáil debates. By far and away the most contentious issue was the oath and dominion status.
I don;t think anyone expected any more from the delegation, the big fuss was over the fact that the plenipotentories signed the document without referring to Dublin. I think they were among the most talented men we had who could have negotiated. De Valera should have been there really, he had already negotiated with George and knew what to expect.
but they did come back in late november,i mean,is not like they just signed.. they went back showed what they could achived,and then well.. i just cant believe it was on the minds of the irish politicians back then that the english would have said "oh is this what you wanted? ok sure why not"
what i mean is..if the delegation did come back to consult on the resolutions, and then they were pressured by george.. was Devs way or the highway?
Not sure what you mean exactly. The delegation were keeping in touch back home in Dublin (Erskine Childers was the secretary, a dev partisan) but when George issued his ultimatum early in the morning, they didn't have the chance to consult Dublin, they had to power to sign the document, George knew that, and sign they duley did. I'm paraphrasing, but George basically told them that he had a telegram for Craig (The Northern Premier) which he would either send by postal train or with a destroyer. One option was peace and brotherhood with the Commonwealth, the other was immediate and terrible war. Little Lloyd George was a fearsome wee man, and even the mighty Michael Collins couldn't ignore that...
no, most certainly not. i agree with the above poster, particularily with the issue of the boundary commission.
dev knew, or had a very good idea what britian would offer since june -july. dev did have to take care and influence people in the dail, prepare people like and in particular cathal brugha, who was extremely hostile to the treaty and to collins and basically all that happened during the tan war, oddly enought (a man, for all his fine bravery, had no part in the tan war fighting), even had he being invited to take part. dev had in his papers, and according to historians like tp coogan (yes he is hostile to dev, he is just one example) admitted that he was not a doctrine republican in the same sense as brugha and stack.
the big problem was the confusion as to the powers of the delegates given by dev. they were not prepared, as pointed. as for the external relations theory, which developed in document no 2, dev had taken the opportunity to raise this with llyod george during the conference in july, he got no joy. instead of thinking of improved solutions etc he just sticked to his guns on the external association and provided the delegate with damn all guidance .
in fairness to all five and childers, they were men who probably had a better understanding of the british temperament and thinking and knew what british people were like. imagine brugha at the meeting?
wasn't dev in limerick on the morning it was signed?
its a shame that the civil war fighting occurred (people still could oppose and not surrendered their ideology) as dev was very quick to learn when in power in the early days, how less restrictive he had originally thought the treaty powers were when dealing with domestic matters.
whatever work you are doing for this, i would strongly suggest that you look at the oath of allegiance/fidelity taken by the dominions that of canada, australia and south africa, then look at the modern day version (all this can be got on the net) and compare and contrast them with the irish free state oath. you may see some differences with them, was the oath taken by the free state actually an oath of allegiance to the crown after all? i strongly recommend you look at this, i believe griffith got a bit of a concession with the wording of this.
with regard to the north, the train in motion with them started with the conversative party's allegiance with the unionists. they began to take the mantle from the ipp have hold the balance of power in westminister. the establishment of the uvf and their clear actions in public without army and police intervention made unity difficult. yes, home rule fianally became law in 1914, but the actions / bravery of the 36th ulster division in places like somme, and their reasons for fighting made it clear that in time, home rule could not be put in on parts of ireland. moreover, during the war itself, the government was in coalation, with carson in the war council. .. the events of ww1 and actions of uvf in that war and the delay in implementing the 1914 act, influence, inter alia, people like pearse that home rule would not come or be enough and complete seperation was the way forward.
Great post Walrus, just had to comment on this:
It would have been a sight anyway, Brugha had attempted to organise, on at least two occassions, the extermination of the British cabinet!
i in no way wish to say too many bad things about a man like brugha, he was a brave and patrotic man, but
it would have being like a bull in a china shop
i have just posted this in a similar thread, but i feel this may be of use to you. it is diffently worth examing if doing a paper on the treaty, look into you proposed it etc. the following are the actuall consitutional oath of allegiance of a couple of dominion countries as at 1921
Australian oath of allegiance found in the Australian Constitution at the time
1I,, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!”
Canadian oath of allegiance found in the Canadian Consitution at the time
“I, [name], do Solemnly swear (affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty ….. , Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors according to law, forever. So help me God”
Article 4 of the Anglo Irish Treaty 1921 (look away)
“I ……. do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established and that I will be faithful to H.M. King George V., his heirs and successors by law, in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of Nations.”
The Irish Free State Oath of Allegiance, taken from the IFS Constitution of 1922 (look away now boys)
“I ... do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established, and that I will be faithful to H.M. King George V, his heirs and successors by law in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of nations.”
Compare the to the usual oath taken by dominion states in 1921, the Irish one is vastly different to others as seen above. The IFS oath had two elements; the first, an oath to the Free State, as by law established, the second part a promise of fidelity, to His Majesty, King George V, his heirs and successors. That second fidelity element, however, was qualified in two ways. It was to the King in Ireland, not specifically to the British King. Secondly, it was to the King explicitly in his role as part of the Treaty settlement, not in terms of pre-1922 British rule.
The IFS oath was moderate by other dominion standards, and notably indirect in its reference to the monarchy . It was incorrect to say that it was in fact a direct oath to the crown. The oath was an oath of allegiance to the Free State and an oath of fidelity only to the crown by virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of nations.”. This makes the whole issue on how he dail debates centring around the oath even worse, bad enough mere words got people hot under the collar, worse still was the fact that in clear black and white people misunderstood/misinterpreted it.
woah, this is actually amazing stuff.. the differences between the oaths makes you think the brits wereactually on the other side of things(not "really" but you know what i mean) they knew eventually complete independence would be achived and this was just (and i know how much we have heard these words before..) a stepping stone.......
i just dont understand how intelligent people like brugha or dev didnt see the long run?..
then again, maybe it was just too unclear at the time...
seriously thanks a million, those posts were brilliant brilliant stuff!
" yes, home rule fianally became law in 1914 " No it didn't. It was put on the back burner to be implimented er, ahem, ahhhh........ after the war. Which ofcourse was reneged on. The did the same in the middle east with promises both to the Palestinians and the zionists, Cyprus was promised similair before WW1 AND WW2. All to be reneged on ofcourse.
Thats a bit pedantic (From both of you) Yes it became law and yes it was never implemented... (Just like how homosexuality was illegal in Ireland, though not really implemented from the 60s until 1993 or so)
Great to see an Aussie taking such a keen interest in Irish history. You might find the Irish Civil War thread on this forum useful also. Also Tim Pat Coogan's books on De Valera and Micheal Collins useful too. A right snake oil salesman was Dev if you ask me.
Belfast Lough was actually part one of the "Treaty Ports". Which to me shows the British did consider that Dublin might eventually gain authority over the six counties. With the Boundary Commission and the Council of Ireland expected to favour the Free State this was not so strange.
Quite sad that the Civil War was basically about the Oath, which De Valera later declared meaningless and accepted.
maybe, but i would suggest that you read up on that bit i dont think the brits at that time were too keen on seperation. then again, i doubt the british of all people did this oath by mistake or oversight, surely they knew what they were doing. i wish to point it was collins and in some parts dev (yes dev, but mainly collins) you got the concession for the oath. i had previously mentioned griffith. tpc's books on collins and dev go into good detail about the negotiations. brian maye did a decent book on arthur griffith, have a gauwk for bits on churchill's books. there is one british chap, norman davies (er i think) who has done extensive work on irish history (simply look for opinions on all sides). one needs to note that llyod george (welsh) had shown great contempt for welsh nationalists. britian feared the breaking up of the empire, particularily after ww1 and it had other problems in places like india and parts of africa. i would take good and accurate thought about this theory. actaully read the heading llyod george wrote to dev when inviting him to london for preliminary confrence in july 1921 "with a view to ascertaining how the assocation of ireland with the community known as the British Empire can best reconcile with irish national aspirations" - thsi was clearly no indication that a completet break would be offered
the next thing i would strongly recommend, if you are learning/researching the history of the treaty is to actually get a hold/sight of the government of ireland act 1914 (home rule bill that was signed into british law but never implemented), government of ireland act 1920 (north's constitution till 1972) and the anglo irish treaty. why you may ask? well for a start your study will be interesting, only people who have a deep interest and are not lazy would check it out. compare and contrast what provisions were in each. look at the amount of autonomy given in the treaty as oppose to 1914 act. argue that in light of this, is it possible to say the irish wars brought about this? (this may be in the affirmative, unless you have another theory, which by all means i would invite, for point of debate bring forward) can one try and dispell the modern notion that "home rule" alia 1914 would have occurred if there was no 1916 etc. point is, there was a big difference in the change of minds of the british in 1914 to 1921 eg ireland allowed its own army (albeit limited.)
to conclude one always needs to look at the legacy of the treaty, look at the constituion of 1922 and briefly bunreacht na heireann ( more for your own interest as whatever you are doing is probably not a thesis.. or maybe it is) don't underestimate the statue of westminister 1931/32, particularily in light of the free state oath, what the statue gave, as it might help you in understanding and / or appreciating how dev got around smashing the treaty into pieces. in light of comparing the 1914 home rule and treaty with hindsight of the following period, maybe you could look at the postive (lord if there is any) about the treaty? did the irish depsite all the problems they incure come home in complete failure. did they achieve more than the Redmond & IPP (whom cost thousands of irish lives in ww1) if you go down this road be careful and dont completly disregard ipp, and try and keep on point at the train of thought of politics and the surrounding circumstances of that time period (as oppose to say modern ireland).
if you are doing research etc, do not be afraid, at regular intervals of to compare and contrast the position of other countries such as canada and australia etc... the british government got a lot of hell for the ifs's moderate oath