Francis M. CarrollFeb 8, 2023
America and the Making of an Independent Ireland
New York University Press 2021
On Easter Day 1916, more than a thousand Irishmen stormed Dublin city center, seizing the General Post Office building and reading the Proclamation for an independent Irish Republic. The British declared martial law shortly afterward, and the rebellion was violently quashed by the military. In a ten-day period after the event, fourteen leaders of the uprising were executed by firing squad.
In New York, news of the uprising spread quickly among the substantial Irish American population. Initially the media blamed German interference, but eventually news of British-propagated atrocities came to light, and Irish Americans were quick to respond.
America and the Making of an Independent Ireland: A History (NYU Press, 2021) centres on the diplomatic relationship between Ireland and the United States at the time of Irish Independence and World War I. Beginning with the Rising of 1916, Francis M. Carroll chronicles how Irish Americans responded to the movement for Irish independence and pressuring the US government to intervene on the side of Ireland. Carroll's in-depth analysis demonstrates that Irish Americans after World War I raised funds for the Dáil Éireann government and for war relief, while shaping public opinion in favor of an independent nation. The book illustrates how the US government was the first power to extend diplomatic recognition to Ireland and welcome it into the international community.
Overall, Carroll argues that the existence of the state of Ireland is owed to considerable effort and intervention by Irish Americans and the American public at large.
Your host, Ryan Shelton (@_ryanshelton) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.