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"Irish nationalism was a propaganda concept" - Discuss, with reference to the sources.

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Introduction

"Irish nationalism was a propaganda concept." Discuss, with reference to the sources. Irish nationalism as a concept came into prominence around the 1850s, although it became more significant only after the 1916-21 revolution. It is debatable, however whether this nationalism was based purely on a revival of the tradition and history of Ireland, or whether it was intended only as a tool for the use of propagandists. Out of the five sources, three contain pictures, and it is these three, which express this belief in Irish nationalism. Firstly the photograph depicting the destruction inflicted upon the Post Office during the 1916 rising. This clearly shows the damage caused, and therefore supports the presence of Irish nationalism. The extent of the damage shown would have taken a substantial period of time to inflict; all the while people were fighting to hold their position in the Post Office. ...read more.

Middle

It also includes a sign, which could easily be seen as propaganda. It uses the same inspiring sort of slogans which can be seen on sources of propaganda, like the two poster sources shown here. It raises the question whether Irish nationalism was just a propaganda concept, which developed into something much more? The third photographic source is accompanied a small paragraph, but both picture and writing try to paint a brief picture of Constance Markievicz. In doing this it shows that Constance Markievicz is not your traditional Irish nationalist. In fact she seems to have no motive for her support other than sympathy. Or perhaps she was seduced by Irish nationalist propaganda. It is difficult to say whether this source supports the idea of nationalism, even among the landed classes, or whether it shows that propaganda was very much at work converting people to the nationalist cause. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again the other poster source, trying to inspire the men of North Roscommon, is again quite obviously propaganda, although the same question over which is the tool of which has to be asked. This source emphasises national pride, and uses text size to highlight certain words. It is again very adept in its use of propaganda techniques, and also pictures Ireland again as the underdog. The sources are inconclusive in either direction in answering whether "Irish nationalism was a propaganda concept." They show both the presence of strong Irish nationalism as a force and belief in its own right, and also the use of propaganda advertising powerfully Irish nationalism. It is impossible to say if the nationalism that became present was just rekindled or whether it was developed anew. Perhaps better debate than if "Irish nationalism was a propaganda concept" would be whether Irish nationalism is the tool of propaganda, or vice versa? ...read more.

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