Why was there a rising in Dublin in 1916?
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Why was there a rising in Dublin in 1916? In 1916 on Easter Monday there was a rising against the British. The rising was a bid for independence from Britain and was led by a secret republican organisation known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The rising failed in the short term but the long-term effects led to the establishment of an Irish Republic. In this essay I will discuss the long and short term causes of the rising including the revival of the Irish culture and the growth of republicanism among the general public. There are many long term causes of the rising that date back hundreds of years, stemming from the year 1169 when the British started their occupation of Ireland. From the very start there was resistance to the British, with small groups of militia launching minor attacks on the British. There followed a spate of unsuccessful rebellions. The most significant being the 1798 rebellion that led to several more rebellions in the years 1803,1848 and 1867. Unfortunately the British whose military capabilities were among the best in the world crushed all of these rebellions.
They were set-up in response to the establishment of the Ulster Volunteer Force who were a militaristic force in the north whose purpose was to block Home Rule, which would separate Ireland from Britain and with it, the citizenship of the UK that they cherished so much. In response to this new military force, the Irish Volunteer Force was set up whose aim was to stop the UVF from disrupting the Home Rule movement. The second major event was The Great Dublin Lock-out of 1913. This was a strike by transport workers in Dublin who wanted better wages as they were living in some of Europe's worst slums. When one of the Lock-out's most prominent leaders, James Larkin, was making a speech from a hotel balcony to the strikers the police made a baton charge at the crowd killing three people and wounding hundreds. After this event Larkin proposed the establishment of a militaristic force who would act as a Home Guard and would be there to defend the people, this was the Irish Citizen Army and there were many volunteers who gladly took up arms to defend their people from police brutality.
rejection of a violent uprising the IRB turned to the ICA who were much more suited to the task as they had no problem with using violence as had been announced by the leader James Connolly in 1914 when he reorganised the army. The rising was chosen for Easter Sunday as it was symbolic because of the events of holy week and the establishment of an Irish republic would be like the resurrection of Christ which seemed appropriate especially since the majority of the population was catholic. Dublin was chosen as the place the rising should be held as it was the capital of Ireland and if the rebels could take control of Dublin then the chances were that people would follow in their footsteps and rebel in other places which is how the IRB intended to achieve national independence. The Easter Rising had many causes. Most of which stemmed from problems of the time but even these problems stemmed from older problems and injustices towards the Irish people. The Rising was an inevitability just like the rebellions that preceded it and sooner or later the people of Ireland were going to get their freedom and the Easter rising was just the first step in a long campaign of both violence and politics that ended in victory.
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