Causes of the Easter Uprising

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Causes of the Easter Uprising The British occupation of Ireland began in the 1640’s and lasted until 1922. No other occurrence throughout Irish history has had a greater impact on the lives of the citizens of the country. Along with the act of occupation came the emergence of Protestantism, which conflicted with the traditional religion of Ireland, Catholicism. The English occupation of Ireland affected many aspects of Irish history from the potato famine to the War for Independence. However, Irish nationalism came to a boiling point April of 1916, in what is now known as the Easter Uprising. The uprising lasted 6 days and resulted in massive casualties, but furthered the liberation cause for the Irish. During the mid 1840’s, blight in the potato crops in Ireland caused widespread starvation and migration of Irish citizens to the United States. Yet, the massive loss of life and massive exodus could have been avoided if British taxation upon the working class of Ireland was nullified. Though the struggle for liberation was already taking place, the potato famine furthered the cause and helped spread awareness. Furthermore, the potato famine made the average Irish family more reliant upon the government for subsidies and supports to get by. Thus began the emergence of Socialist and Communist activism within Ireland. For example, the Socialist Republican Party of Ireland formed in 1889 (Connolly 13). However, this growing need for socialism in Ireland was in stark contrast to the capitalist economy employed by England at the time (Colum 54). As a result of the Industrial Revolution in the 1850’s, capitalism spread quickly throughout much of Europe. At the center of the capitalist boom was England. Many cities in England at the time were very industrialized and still are to this day. Manchester and Liverpool were the centers of English industry. In fact, Leon Trotsky, a very powerful leader in the Russian Revolution, wrote a book entitled, Where is Britain Going? The book documented the troubles with British capitalism (Crawford). Moreover, the English prevented the Irish from keeping a fair amount of what they did produce (Connolly 153). Ireland is not nearly as rich with resources as the British, so that furthered the need for government support.

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