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Thread: 1922 General Election

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    Default 1922 General Election

    I'm a very interested foreigner fresh from reading the Treaty debates in the Dail...

    Both sides tnded to refer to the will of the people, apparently to be determined at the election. Why then was it decided (at least according to sources like teh Wiki on this site) to not hold a genuine election, pre-determining the splitting of the places (between pro-Treaty and anti-Teraty SF) instead?

    Actually, references to really good material on that period would be greatly appreciated. Both online and books. I'm completely at a loss on understanding the motives of the Republican side on many things; but with these elections, of both sides. After all those oh-so-beautiful words about the sovereign people who will decide...

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    though i may sound strange the intention was to try to ensure that the treaty would not be the central issue in the election and thus to avoid dividing both the party and the country further.

    by not making treaty a point of debate and heated exchange of accusation and blame , they hoped to stop the country sliding into war.

    as events turned out the pact fell through anyway before polling day
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    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelR
    I'm a very interested foreigner fresh from reading the Treaty debates in the Dail...

    Both sides tnded to refer to the will of the people, apparently to be determined at the election. Why then was it decided (at least according to sources like teh Wiki on this site) to not hold a genuine election, pre-determining the splitting of the places (between pro-Treaty and anti-Teraty SF) instead?

    Actually, references to really good material on that period would be greatly appreciated. Both online and books. I'm completely at a loss on understanding the motives of the Republican side on many things; but with these elections, of both sides. After all those oh-so-beautiful words about the sovereign people who will decide...
    The online Treaty Debates: do they include both the Public and Private sessions or just the Public ones?

    I have the three volumes available with the text of those debates and they make for fascinating readiing.

    Proud to say that a relation of mine was a member of the 2nd Dail and voted against the Treaty.

    What don't you understand?

    The sticking point was the hated oath of Allegience to the British Monarch as Head of the British Commonwelath.

    One of the terms of the Treaty was that anyone who took a seat in the parliament of the 26 counties would have take the Oath.

    Also they would be accepting Partition even if the border was to be readjusted (it never was).

    It should never have been accepted.

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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelR
    I'm a very interested foreigner fresh from reading the Treaty debates in the Dail...

    Both sides tnded to refer to the will of the people, apparently to be determined at the election. Why then was it decided (at least according to sources like teh Wiki on this site) to not hold a genuine election, pre-determining the splitting of the places (between pro-Treaty and anti-Teraty SF) instead?

    Actually, references to really good material on that period would be greatly appreciated. Both online and books. I'm completely at a loss on understanding the motives of the Republican side on many things; but with these elections, of both sides. After all those oh-so-beautiful words about the sovereign people who will decide...
    The online Treaty Debates: do they include both the Public and Private sessions or just the Public ones?

    I have the three volumes available with the text of those debates and they make for fascinating readiing.

    Proud to say that a relation of mine was a member of the 2nd Dail and voted against the Treaty.

    What don't you understand?

    The sticking point was the hated oath of Allegience to the British Monarch as Head of the British Commonwelath.

    One of the terms of the Treaty was that anyone who took a seat in the parliament of the 26 counties would have take the Oath.

    Also they would be accepting Partition even if the border was to be readjusted (it never was).

    It should never have been accepted.
    There's an excellent book called "1922" which covers this most critical of years in Irish history. I have it somewhere if anyone needs the details.

    To say that the Treaty should not have been signed is to consign us to a debate about what would have happened. It is virtually certain that in such a scenario there would have been an all-island civil war which would have made the one which happened in this country look like a bun fight.

    You had those led by DeValera, for whom the oath was all important at the time (although conviently it was down-graded by Dev when it suited him a decade later). Had the been the majority they would almost certainly have involved Northern Ireland in the war (they tried but failed in 1922 when they were clearly in a minority).

    You had those in the Collins / Pro-Treaty camp that knew that failure to accept the treaty would mean that more British troops would be deployed, and that the IRA was already close to defeat.

    Finally you would have Carson and the Unionists who grudgingly accepted the treaty but had their territory come under sustained attack would almost certainly have tried to make a land grab for the 3 Ulster counties that had been excluded.

    In the end the the oath proved a minor issue. The King remained the recognised head of state in this country for over a quarter of a century without anyone seeing an major interference with sovreignty.

    Thankfully the people endorsed the treaty quite clearly in 1922 and support for the republican side in the civil war faded quite quickly.
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    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithM
    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelR
    I'm a very interested foreigner fresh from reading the Treaty debates in the Dail...

    Both sides tnded to refer to the will of the people, apparently to be determined at the election. Why then was it decided (at least according to sources like teh Wiki on this site) to not hold a genuine election, pre-determining the splitting of the places (between pro-Treaty and anti-Teraty SF) instead?

    Actually, references to really good material on that period would be greatly appreciated. Both online and books. I'm completely at a loss on understanding the motives of the Republican side on many things; but with these elections, of both sides. After all those oh-so-beautiful words about the sovereign people who will decide...
    The online Treaty Debates: do they include both the Public and Private sessions or just the Public ones?

    I have the three volumes available with the text of those debates and they make for fascinating readiing.

    Proud to say that a relation of mine was a member of the 2nd Dail and voted against the Treaty.

    What don't you understand?

    The sticking point was the hated oath of Allegience to the British Monarch as Head of the British Commonwelath.

    One of the terms of the Treaty was that anyone who took a seat in the parliament of the 26 counties would have take the Oath.

    Also they would be accepting Partition even if the border was to be readjusted (it never was).

    It should never have been accepted.
    There's an excellent book called "1922" which covers this most critical of years in Irish history. I have it somewhere if anyone needs the details.

    To say that the Treaty should not have been signed is to consign us to a debate about what would have happened. It is virtually certain that in such a scenario there would have been an all-island civil war which would have made the one which happened in this country look like a bun fight.

    You had those led by DeValera, for whom the oath was all important at the time (although conviently it was down-graded by Dev when it suited him a decade later). Had the been the majority they would almost certainly have involved Northern Ireland in the war (they tried but failed in 1922 when they were clearly in a minority).

    You had those in the Collins / Pro-Treaty camp that knew that failure to accept the treaty would mean that more British troops would be deployed, and that the IRA was already close to defeat.

    Finally you would have Carson and the Unionists who grudgingly accepted the treaty but had their territory come under sustained attack would almost certainly have tried to make a land grab for the 3 Ulster counties that had been excluded.

    In the end the the oath proved a minor issue. The King remained the recognised head of state in this country for over a quarter of a century without anyone seeing an major interference with sovreignty.

    Thankfully the people endorsed the treaty quite clearly in 1922 and support for the republican side in the civil war faded quite quickly.

    Keith are you smoking something?

    There's an excellent book called "1922" which covers this most critical of years in Irish history. I have it somewhere if anyone needs the details.

    It's an interesting read but it is very lopsided in its coverage of events. Revisionist History if ever there was one!


    To say that the Treaty should not have been signed is to consign us to a debate about what would have happened. It is virtually certain that in such a scenario there would have been an all-island civil war which would have made the one which happened in this country look like a bun fight.

    It's virtually certain that if the Dail had stood together against it the thing would have been re negotiated with a watered down link to the British Empire.

    You had those led by DeValera, for whom the oath was all important at the time (although conviently it was down-graded by Dev when it suited him a decade later). Had the been the majority they would almost certainly have involved Northern Ireland in the war (they tried but failed in 1922 when they were clearly in a minority).

    Dev took the Oath in 1927, some 5 years after the Treaty was signed and after having made public his dissatisfaction to his having to take it to enter LH. Not a decade later like you claim - check your facts!

    You had those in the Collins / Pro-Treaty camp that knew that failure to accept the treaty would mean that more British troops would be deployed, and that the IRA was already close to defeat.

    Open question that. There were active IRA leaders who thought that the Truce happened too soon.

    The British hadn't the stomach for renewal of hostilities - they had problems elsewhere to deal with (see Churchill’s ‘World Crises’) and would not IMO have gone back to War over a reasonable request to amend the terminology governing the relationship between the Irish State and the British Commonwealth.

    The fact that Dev dumped the Oath after coming to power in 1932, just a decade after the Treaty was signed and with no meaningful opposition from the British Government of the day shows how meaningless the stupid Oath was even to the British!

    Finally you would have Carson and the Unionists who grudgingly accepted the treaty but had their territory come under sustained attack would almost certainly have tried to make a land grab for the 3 Ulster counties that had been excluded.

    Even they were not that stupid!

    In the end the the oath proved a minor issue. The King remained the recognised head of state in this country for over a quarter of a century without anyone seeing an major interference with sovreignty.

    I might have to look into this deeper but did not the Constitution of 1937 establish the position of President as Head of State?

    The Crown had no legal position in Law within the Irish Free State after that.

    The State withdrew in its entirety from the British Commonwealth in 1949. Ironically two years after the states of Pakistan and India were created as Republics within the Commonwealth!

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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Catalpa there was only one thing that really really concerned the British at the onset of negotiations and that was British security. They were terrified as they had been since about the 1540's of Ireland allying itself with an enemy of England i.e. Germany at this time and allowing the Germans to invade England thought almost the back door. This was their concern. The oath of allegiance to the commonwealth, Ireland's position in the commonwealth and the treaty ports made sure this would not happen. These were three things they would not give up on because if they had, then it would have allowed us to ally with an Enemy in a future war and England would have been ************************************. They would have fount forever to make sure they protected themselves.

    Now to reply to some of your points

    Open question that. There were active IRA leaders who thought that the Truce happened too soon.
    Tom Barry's about the only one. Collins, Mulcahny and headquarters in general knew they were trouble. They had very little arms left, very little money their men were tired, their numbers were down. Loads of key figures in SF i.e. Griffith, Fitzgerald were in jail, loads of key figures in the IRA were in jail e.g. Sean MacEoin, which led to the war being over in Longford basically. The Dublin Brigade of the IRA had been destroyed during the attack on the Customs House, which led to most of them end up being in Jail. The IRA jumped on the truce when they got it and the reasons why are above.

    The fact that Dev dumped the Oath after coming to power in 1932, just a decade after the Treaty was signed and with no meaningful opposition from the British Government of the day shows how meaningless the stupid Oath was even to the British!
    Had the British done anything to stop Dev canceling the oath, then they would have faced a major international problem. In 1931 Westminster passed the Statue of Westminster due to good work of people like O'Higgins before his death. This act meant that all commonwealth countries had the power to reject all laws old or new passed on them from Westminster. Had the British done anything against Dev. They would have faced pressure from India, Australia and Canada among others and they would have faced a huge legal problem. Basically they had no choice.

    The simple fact is post 1922 the British government once got involved in Irish internal fairs. In every way we had full Independence. To go back to the war, a war we would have lost over symbolism is just stupid.
    "Give us the future, we've had enough of YOUR past, Give us back our country, to live in, to grow in and to love..."

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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa

    It should never have been accepted.
    The reason the Treaty was rejected by a minority of TD was idiotic in the extreme. You would need to be pedantic in the extreme to even separate the Treaty and DeValera's external association model.

    To think that the republicans forced a civil war upon the Irish people for such nonsense is shameful.

    However, it I think for a moment as a revisionist, there was a good reason to reject the treaty.

    If the vast majority of TD's at the time realised how disasterous partition would be to unity on the island the Treaty would have been rejected, and rightly so.

    However, if I put myself in their shoes with the knowledge they had at the time, I would have accepted the Treaty. I certainly could not have allowed more Irishmen to die over an empty form of words.

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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithM
    Thankfully the people endorsed the treaty quite clearly in 1922 and support for the republican side in the civil war faded quite quickly.
    How did the people endorse the Treaty in 1922, if they have not been given a chance to vote on the issue? Pro-Treaty and Anti-Treaty SF factions have apparently agreed to not stand against each other, at least according to sources like this site's Wiki.

    I definitely don't want to debate the merits of the Treaty itself. Yes, in those debates (by the way, only the public part was there, unfortunately) I do like the Collins-Griffth side more; but one simply can't put their case more eloquently than the speakers there did. The sides in the debate in this thread can't hold a candle; sorry about that but White Horse is not Collins and Catalpa is not Childers. (Although come to think of it, here's a laugh: both Childers and Catalpa have been attacked for not understanding Irish, with words in Irish against them. I hope nobody gets shot this time!)

    Nevertheless, my question was on the election. If there was a vote on the Treaty, then there would have been clear proof of the will of the people - thus sending all those Army Councils of the past decades down the drain. But after *both* sides eloquently referred to the will of the people and their desire to follow it (with Grшffith promising to follow "as a private in the ranks", but still follow, if the Treaty is rejected, etc), nobody actually asked the people?..

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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Quote Originally Posted by White Horse
    However, it I think for a moment as a revisionist, there was a good reason to reject the treaty.

    If the vast majority of TD's at the time realised how disasterous partition would be to unity on the island the Treaty would have been rejected, and rightly so.
    And exactly how was that to be remedied? By "immediate and terrible war" in Ulster? Is not even the actual history a lesser evil than that?

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    Default Re: 1922 General Election

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa
    Quote Originally Posted by KeithM
    Keith are you smoking something?

    There's an excellent book called "1922" which covers this most critical of years in Irish history. I have it somewhere if anyone needs the details.

    It's an interesting read but it is very lopsided in its coverage of events. Revisionist History if ever there was one!
    This is a matter of opinion. Would you like to point out anywhere that it is factually wrong?


    [quote:2unp9uhy]To say that the Treaty should not have been signed is to consign us to a debate about what would have happened. It is virtually certain that in such a scenario there would have been an all-island civil war which would have made the one which happened in this country look like a bun fight.

    It's virtually certain that if the Dail had stood together against it the thing would have been re negotiated with a watered down link to the British Empire.
    This point was made at the time and was completly shot down. Trying to re-cycle it now is revisionism of the worst kind.


    [quote:2unp9uhy]You had those led by DeValera, for whom the oath was all important at the time (although conviently it was down-graded by Dev when it suited him a decade later). Had the been the majority they would almost certainly have involved Northern Ireland in the war (they tried but failed in 1922 when they were clearly in a minority).

    Dev took the Oath in 1927, some 5 years after the Treaty was signed and after having made public his dissatisfaction to his having to take it to enter LH. Not a decade later like you claim - check your facts!

    Dev took the oath in 1927 but did away with it in 1932 IIRC, either way it's obvious that it was not worth wasting a drop of blood for it.

    You had those in the Collins / Pro-Treaty camp that knew that failure to accept the treaty would mean that more British troops would be deployed, and that the IRA was already close to defeat.

    Open question that. There were active IRA leaders who thought that the Truce happened too soon.

    There will always be die-hards. Those at the top said that defeat was imminent.

    The British hadn't the stomach for renewal of hostilities - they had problems elsewhere to deal with (see Churchill’s ‘World Crises’) and would not IMO have gone back to War over a reasonable request to amend the terminology governing the relationship between the Irish State and the British Commonwealth.
    There wouldn't have been a renewel, the troops were already in place here. The request wasn't reasonable at the time as it would have further detatched the IFS from the UK (and consequently NI).

    The fact that Dev dumped the Oath after coming to power in 1932, just a decade after the Treaty was signed and with no meaningful opposition from the British Government of the day shows how meaningless the stupid Oath was even to the British!
    Dealth with by another poster. The fact that the oath was so meaningless by 1932 does not change the fact that is was key in 1922. A lot happened during the intervening period.

    Finally you would have Carson and the Unionists who grudgingly accepted the treaty but had their territory come under sustained attack would almost certainly have tried to make a land grab for the 3 Ulster counties that had been excluded.

    Even they were not that stupid!
    I'm not saying for a moment that they would have taken all three counties but certainly east Donegal and north Monaghan could have been taken.

    In the end the the oath proved a minor issue. The King remained the recognised head of state in this country for over a quarter of a century without anyone seeing an major interference with sovreignty.

    I might have to look into this deeper but did not the Constitution of 1937
    establish the position of President as Head of State?

    The Crown had no legal position in Law within the Irish Free State after that.
    No the King remained the internationally recognised Head of State until the government of Ireland act. IIRC all foreign ambassadors being sent to Dublin had to get royal approval.

    The State withdrew in its entirety from the British Commonwealth in 1949. Ironically two years after the states of Pakistan and India were created as Republics within the Commonwealth!
    [/quote:2unp9uhy][/quote:2unp9uhy]

    Indeed. That was when the king ceased to be HoS. The fact that republics can not only be accepted into the commonwealth proves he move was probably premature.
    My dogma was run over by my karma. Economic Left/Right: 2.00
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