Back to Medieval Source Book Medieval Sourcebook: Jean Froissart: On The Hundred Years War (1337-1453) The "Hundred Years' War" between France and England (1337-1453) was an episodic struggle lasting well over a hundred years, for much of the time without any conflict. The battles were both violent, but also occasions when ideals of "chivalry" were displayed. Here are extracts describing various battles from the Chronicle of Jean Froissart. The Battle of Crecy (1346) The Englishmen, who were in three battles lying on the ground to rest them, as soon as they saw the Frenchmen approach, they rose upon their feet fair and easily without any haste and arranged their battles. The first, which was the prince's battle, the archers there stood in manner of a herse and the men of arms in the bottom of the battle. The earl of Northampton and the earl of Arundel with the second battle were on a wing in good order, ready to comfort the prince's battle, if need were. The lords and knights of France came not to the assembly together in good order, for some came before and some came after in such haste and evil order, that one of them did trouble another. When the French king saw the Englishmen, his blood changed, and [he] said to his marshals: "Make the Genoways go on before and begin the battle in the name of God and Saint Denis." There were of the Genoways crossbows about a fifteen thousand, but they were so weary of going afoot that day a six leagues armed with their crossbows, that they said to their constables: "We be not well ordered to fight this day, for we be not in the case to do any great deed of arms: we have more need of rest." These words came to the earl of Alencon, who said: "A man is well at ease to be charged with such a sort of rascals, to be faint and fail now at most need." Also the same season there fell a great rain and a clipse with a terrible thunder, and before the rain there came flying over both battles a great number of crows for fear of the tempest coming. Then anon the air began to wax clear, and the sun to shine fair and bright, the which was right in the Frenchmen's eyes and on the Englishmen's backs. When the Genoways were assembled together and began to approach, they made a great [shout] and cry to abash the Englishmen, but they stood still and stirred not for all that: then the Genoways again the second time made another leap and a fell cry, and stept forward a little, and the Englishmen removed not one foot: thirdly, again they lept and cried, and went forth till they came within shot; then they shot fiercely with their crossbows. Then the English archers stept forth one pace and let fly their arrows so wholly [together] and so thick, that it seemed snow. When the Genoways felt the arrows piercing through heads arms and breasts, many of them cast down their crossbows and did cut their strings and returned discomfited. When the French king saw them fly away, he said: "Slay these rascals, for they shall let and trouble us without reason." Then ye should have seen the men at arms dash in among them and killed a great number of them: and ever still the Englishmen shot whereas they saw thickest press; the sharp arrows ran into the men of arms and into their horses, an many fell, horse and men, among the Genoways, and when they were down, they could not relieve again, the press was so thick that on overthrew another. And also among the Englishmen there were certain rascals that went afoot with great knives, and they went in among the men of arms, and slew and murdered many as they lay on the ground, both earls, barons, knights, and squires, whereof the king of England was after displeased, for he had rather they had been taken prisoners. The valiant king of Bohemia called Charles of Luxembourg, son to the noble emperor Henry of Luxembourg, for all that he was nigh blind, when he understood the order of the battle, he said to the about him: "Where is the lord Charles my son?" His men said: "Sir we cannot tell; we think he be fighting." Then he said: "Sirs, ye are my men, my companions and friends in this journey: I require you bring me so far forward, that I may strike one stroke with my sword." They said they would do his commandment, and to the intent that they should not lose him in the press, they tied all their reins of their bridles each to other and set the king before to accomplish his desire, and so they went on their enemies. The lord Charles of Bohemia his son, who wrote himself king of Almaine and bare the arms, he came in good order to the battle; but when he saw that the matter went awry on their party, he departed, I cannot tell you which way. The king his father was so far forward that he strake a stroke with his sword, yea and more than four, and fought valiantly and so did his company; and they adventured themselves so forward, that they were there all slain; and the next day they were found in the place about the king, and all their horses tied each to other. *** [The contingent led by the king's son, the Black Prince, was hard pressed in the fighting.] Then the second battle of the Englishment came to succour the prince's battle, the which was time, for they had as then much ado and they with the prince sent a messenger to the king, who was on a little windmill hill. Then the knight said to the king: "Sir, the earl of Warwick and the earl of Oxford, sir Raynold Cobham and other, such as be about the prince your son, are fiercely fought withal and are sore handled; wherefore they desire you that you and your battle will come and aid them; for if the Frenchmen increase, as they doubt they will, your son and they shall have much ado." Then the king said: "Is my son dead or hurt or on the earth felled?" "No, sir," quoth the knight, "but he is hardly matched; wherefore he hath need of your aid." "Well," said the king, "return to him and to them that sent you hither, and say to them that they send no more to me for any adventure that falleth, as long as my son is alive: and also say to them that they suffer him this day to win his spurs; for if God be pleased, I will this journey be his and the honour thereof, and to them that be about him." The Battle of Poitiers 1356 Oftentimes the adventure of amours and of war are more fortunate and marvellous than any man can think or wish. Truly this battle, the which was near to Poitiers in the fields of Beauvoir and Maupertuis, was right great and perilous, and many deeds of arms there was done the which all came not to knowledge. The fighters on both sides endured much pain: king John with his own hands did that day marvels in arms: he had an axe in his hands wherewith he defended himself and fought in the breaking of the press. Near to the king there was taken the earl of Tancarville, sir Jaques of Bourbon car] of Ponthieu, and the lord John of Artois earl of Eu, and a little above that under the banner of the captal of Buch was taken sir Charles of Artois and divers other knights and squires. The chase endured to the gates of Poitiers: there were many slain and beaten down, horse and man, for they of Poitiers closed their gates and would suffer none to enter; wherefore in the street before the gate was horrible murder, men hurt and beaten down.... Then there was a great press to take the king, and such as knew him cried, "Sir, yield you, or else ye are but dead." There was a knight of Saint-Omer's, retained in wages with the king of England, called sir Denis Morbeke, who had served the Englishmen five year before, because in his youth he had forfeited the realm of France for a murder that he did at Saint-Omer's. It happened so well for him, that he was next to the king when they were about to take him: he stept forth into the press, and by strength of his body and arms he came to the French king and said in good French, "Sir, yield you." The king beheld the knight and said: "To whom shall I yield me? Where is my cousin the prince of Wales? If I might see him, I would speak with him." Denis answered and said: "Sir, he is not here; but yield you to me and I shall bring you to him." "Who be you?" quoth the king. "Sir," he, "I am Denis of Morbeke, a knight of Artois; but I serve the king of England because I am banished the realm of France and I have forfeited all that I had there. " Then the king gave him his right gauntlet, saying "There I yield me to you." was a great press about the king, for every man enforced him to say "I have taken him," so that the king could not go forward with his young son the lord Philip with him because of the press . *** [The Black Prince sent two lords to search for the French king.] These two lords took their horses and departed from the prince rode up a hill to look about them: then they perceived a flock of men of arms coming together right wearily: there was the French king afoot in great peril, for Englishmen and Gascons were his masters; they had taken him from sir Denis Morbeke perforce, and such as were most of force said, "I have taken him"; "Nay," quoth another, "I have taken him"; so they strave which should have him. Then the French king, to eschew that peril, said: "Sirs, strive not: lead men courteously, and my son, to my cousin the prince, and strive not for my taking, for I am so great a lord to make you all rich." The king's words somewhat appeased them; howbeit ever as they went they made riot and brawled for the taking of the king. When the two foresaid lords saw and heard that noise and strife among them they came to them and said: "Sirs, what is the matter that ye strive for?" "Sirs," said one of them, "it is for the French king, who is here taken prisoner, and there be more than ten knights and squires that challengeth the taking of him and of his son. "Then the two lords entered into the press and caused every man to draw aback, and commanded them in the prince's name on pain of their heads to make no more noise nor to approach the king no nearer, without they were commanded. Then every man gave room to the lords, and they alighted and did their reverence to the king, and so brought him and his son in peace and rest to the prince of W ales. *** The same day of the battle at night the prince made a supper in his lodging to the French king and to the most part of the great lords that were prisoners. The prince made the king and his son, the lord James of Bourbon, the lord John d'Artois, the earl of Tancarville the earl of Estampes, the earl of Dammartin, the earl of Joinville the lord of Partenay to sit all at one board, and other lords, knights and squires at other tables; and always the prince served before the king as humbly as he could, and would not sit at the king's board for any desire that the king could make, but he said he was not sufficient to sit at the table with so great a prince as the king was. But then he said to the king, "Sir, for God's sake make none evil nor heavy cheer, though God this day did not consent to follow your will; for, sir, surely the king my father shall bear you as much honour and amity as he may do, and shall accord with you so reasonably that ye shall ever be friends together after. And, sir, methink ve ought to rejoice, though the journey be not as ye would have had it, for this day ye have won the high renown of prowess and have passed this day in valiantness all other of your party. Sir, I say not this to mock you, for all that be on our party, that saw every man's deeds, are plainly accorded by true sentence to give you the prize and chaplet." Therewith the Frenchmen began to murmur and said among themselves how the prince had spoken nobly, and that by all estimation he should prove a noble man, if God send him life and to persevere in such good fortune. English Ravages in the 1370s About the space of a month or more was the prince of Wales before the city of I.imoges, and there was neither assault nor scrimmish, but dailv they mined. And they within knew well how they were mined, and made a countermine there against to have destroyed the English miners; but they failed of their mine. And when the prince's miners saw how the countermine against them failed, they said to the prince: "Sir, whensoever it shall please you we shall cause a part of the wall to fall into the dikes, whereby ye shall enter into the city at your ease without any danger." Which words pleased greatly the prince, and said: "I will that to-morrow betimes ye shew forth and execute your work." Then the miners set fire into their mine, and so the next morning, as the prince had ordained, there fell down a great pane of the wall and filled the dikes, whereof the Englishmen were glad and were ready armed in the field to enter into the town. The foot-men might well enter at their ease, and so they did and ran to the gate and beat down the fortifying and barriers, for there was no defence against them: it was done so suddenly that they of the town were not ware thereof. Then the prince, the duke of Lancaster, the earl of Cambridge, the earl of Pembroke, sir Guichard d'Angle and all the other with their companies entered into the ci , and all other foot-men, readv apparelled to do evil, and to pill and rob the city, and to stay men, women and children, for so it was commanded them to do. It was great pity to see the men, women and children that kneeled down on their knees before the prince for mercy; but he was so inflamed with ire, that he took no heed to them, so that none was heared, but all put to death, as they were met withal, and such as were nothing culpable. There was no pity take of the poor people, who wrought never no manner of treason, yet they bought it dearer than the great personages, such as had done the evil and trespass. There was not so hard a heart within the city of Limoges, an if he had anv remembrance of God, but that wept piteously for the great mischief that they saw before their even: for more than three thousand men, women and children were slain and beheaded that day, God have mercy on their souls, for I trow they were martyrs. From G. C. Macauly, ed., The Chronicles of Froissart, Lord Berners, trans. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1904), pp. 104-105, - battle of Crecy, pp. 128-131. - the batttle of Poitiers, p. 201 - ravages This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history. Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use. (c)Paul Halsall Jan 1996 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hundred Years'''''' War The Hundred Years' War was a battle that lasted from 1337 to 1453 between England and France. The main cause of this war was the death of King Charles IV of France and the conflict that would arise over the successor to his throne.1 After a few minor battles between the French and English, the tension heightened and in 1346 Edward III of England claimed his right as successor to the throne of France. He claimed this through his mother, Isabella, who was Charles' sister, but France gave the throne to Phillip VI, a cousin of Charles. Phillip gained the throne because the French decided that the heir could not be traced through matrilineal descent, and also that England was a vassal to France. England was a vassal because it held Aquitaine in south-western France. As a vassal they had an allegiance to France and were to provide military aid to the lord in a time of need. With Edward declaring himself as heir he was breaking the traditional feudal relationship of lord and vassal. Overall, the French had the greatest advantages in The Hundred Years' War. The advantages the French had were: that the war was fought on their soil and could easily get reinforcements, France was richer overall than England, and France's population was about three times larger than England.2 So why did England dominate the battle for such a long period of time? It was mostly due to their organization on the field and the weapons which the English used. In the battle of Crecy in 1346, for example, the French had the Genoese who were armed with crossbows, while the English had the Welsh with longbows. The crossbows were accurate, but slow to reload, while the longbows were not very accurate, but made up for that in the amount injury that would rain over enemy troops.3 Similar events would plague the French troops again. In 1356 at the battle of Poitiers, King John of France lead his troops into his enemies hands only to be captured and held for ransom. The English were not winning their land through physical battle, but through the ransoms they received. With the captures from the battle of Poitiers alone, England gained three million crowns of gold and the lands of Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and recognition of Aquitaine. 4 Soon after these victories the war would turn in France's favour. From about 1360 - 1396, French troops gained ground by making allies with their neighbours in Spain. However, France again would begin to lose with civil war breaking out throughout their country. Because of Charles VI's insanity, political responsibility fell into the hands of the Duke of Burgundy and Orleans who fought constantly, ending with the murder of the Duke of Orleans. With the support of the Duke of Burgundy, King Henry V of England could restate English claim to the French throne. Henry gained much of the land in northern France, Normandy, and Paris in the war. By 1420 the French and English signed the Treaty of Troyes. This was close to a truce with Henry V of England marrying Catherine who was the daughter of Charles VI, but before this could happen both Henry and Charles died in 1422.5 Now that France was mostly under English rule, it was hard to maintain it. The English could not battle like they had done before, in quick well planned raids. From 1429 - 1453 the English lands would diminish a great deal with the increasing strength of the French. In 1429 a figure appeared to rally the morale of the French troops to drive out the English with her religious zeal, this was Joan of Arc. Link to maps of the progression of The Hundred Years' War can be seen here! ______________ 1. "The Hundred Years' War," http://www.idbsu.edu/courses/hy309/topics/100yw/100yw.html (November 30, 1998) 2. Noble, Thomas, et al. Western Civilizatio: The Contiuning Experiment. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1994. p. 440 3. Perroy, Edouard. The Hundred Years' War. Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1959. p. 119. 4. Noble, p. 441. 5. Noble, p. 444.
Ireland, history of The first human settlements in Ireland, an island lying on the western fringe of Europe, were made relatively late in European prehistory, about 6000 BC. Early Gaelic Ireland Sometime between about 600 and 150 BC, Celts from western Europe, who came to be known as Gaels, invaded Ireland and subdued the previous inhabitants. The basic units of Gaelic society were the tuatha, or petty kingdoms, of which perhaps 150 existed in Ireland. The tuatha remained independent of one another, but they shared a common language, Gaelic (see Celtic languages), and a class of men called brehons, who were learned in customary law and helped to preserve throughout Ireland a remarkably uniform but archaic social system. One reason for the unique nature of Irish society was that the Romans, who transformed the Celtic societies of Great Britain and other societies on the Continent with their armies, roads, administrative system, and towns, never tried to conquer Ireland. MEDIEVAL IRELAND Another consequence of Ireland's isolation from Romanized Europe was the development of a distinctive Celtic type of Christianity. Saint Patrick introduced mainstream Latin Christianity into the country in the 5th century AD, but the system of bishops with territorial dioceses, modeled on ancient Rome's administrative system, did not take secure root in Ireland at this time. While the autonomous tuath remained the basic unit of Gaelic secular society, the autonomous monastery became the basic unit of Celtic Christianity. During the 6th and 7th centuries the Irish monasteries were great centers of learning, sending out such missionaries as Saints Columba and Columban to the rest of Europe. What was for most of Europe the Dark Ages was for Ireland the golden age. Religious art, such as the Ardagh Chalice and the Book of Kells and other illuminated manuscripts, flourished alongside proof secular, even pagan, artistic achievements, such as the Tara Brooch and the great Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailgne (The Cattle Raid of Cooley). The Viking Invasions In the late 8th century Vikings from Scandinavia began to raid Ireland. Other parts of Europe at about this time were responding to such pressures by developing the system of feudalism, but the Gaelic society did not lend itself to such development. It lacked the heritage of Roman law that provided the framework for feudal institutions elsewhere. Moreover, the elaborate kinship arrangements by which both property-holding and succession to leadership roles were regulated by brehon law may have impeded the exchange of land for military service, which is the fundamental bargain underlying the feudal system. Eventually, Gaelic society did manage to organize resistance: in 1014, Irish forces led by King Brian Boru decisively defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf. Brian's tenure (1002-14) of the honorific title "high king of Ireland" is sometimes misunderstood as the seed time of a national monarchy. Actually, the high king's power throughout much of Ireland was insubstantial. Without the infrastructure of feudalism even such a leader as Brian could not make the transition from symbolic kingship to effective monarchy that was beginning in other parts of Europe. Meanwhile, although Viking power was broken, the Vikings had left their mark upon the country by founding Ireland's first cities, including Dublin, Limerick, and Waterford. The Anglo-Norman Conquest Even such unity as there had been under Brian had disappeared by the time Ireland faced its next challenge. This challenge came from the highly effective feudal monarchy that had been founded in England by William I (William the Conqueror) after his invasion of that country in 1066 from Normandy in France. In 1171, William's descendant Henry II took advantage of an earlier letter from Pope Adrian IV authorizing Henry to make himself overlord of Ireland in order to bring the Irish church more into line with Roman standards. Several Anglo-Norman barons, with their retainers, had already seized large parts of Ireland when Henry went to Ireland with an army to receive the formal submission of those barons and of most of the Irish kings. In those areas where the Anglo-Norman barons settled and drove out the native Gaelic aristocracy, they established a feudal system like that which their ancestors had brought from Normandy to England. The result, however, was not an effective centralized monarchy such as Norman feudalism had fostered in England. The English monarchy was usually distracted from Irish affairs by more pressing concerns such as the Hundred Years' War (1338-1453) and therefore did not effectively subordinate to royal authority even the Anglo-Norman colony. Thus, one may think of Ireland in the late Middle Ages as consisting of three concentric regions: (1) Dublin and its immediate hinterland (eventually called the Pale), the only area in which the English government really exercised authority; (2) a broad arc of territories beyond the Pale, which were the quasi-independent fiefs of the great Anglo-Norman lords; and (3) a further arc of territories along the western coast of Ireland that retained Gaelic customs and remained completely outside English rule. The English colony in Ireland reached its greatest extent in the early 14th century, after which Gaelic society enjoyed considerable resurgence, partly by winning territories back from the colonists but mainly through the transformation of the Anglo-Normans into an "Anglo-Irish" aristocracy. As the Anglo-Normans intermarried with the Gaelic population and adopted the Gaelic language and customs, they gradually became "more Irish than the Irish." The Statutes of Kilkenny (1366) were an unsuccessful attempt to arrest this process and to define the area of English control. The Anglo-Norman conquest hastened reforms that brought the Irish church more into line with Roman standards. English legal practices and civil administration were introduced, and, although it served only the Anglo-Irish colony, an Irish parliament modeled on the English one was created in the late 13th century. Because of the colony's propensity to support the Yorkist side in the Wars of the Roses (1455-85), England's King Henry VII forced an Irish parliament of 1494-95 to adopt Poynings's Law, which gave the English Privy Council veto power over any legislation that might be proposed in future Irish parliaments. By the end of the Middle Ages it was clear that the Anglo-Norman conquest was a failure, and in the 16th century the English monarchs Henry VIII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I made concerted efforts to reconquer Ireland by military expeditions and by the establishment (or plantation) of colonies of English settlers in Ireland. Henry's severance of the ties between the Church of England and the papacy, however (see Reformation), complicated the reconquest. In Ireland, unlike England, there was virtually no indigenous sympathy with the Protestant reformers among either the Gaelic Irish or the Anglo-Irish. Thus the Church of Ireland was legally transformed into a Protestant church rejected by the overwhelming majority of the population. MODERN IRELAND The most determined resistance to reconquest came from the Gaelic chieftains of Ulster (the northeastern quarter of the island), led by Hugh O'Neill, 2d earl of Tyrone, at the end of Elizabeth's reign. In suppressing their rebellion between 1595 and 1603, English forces devastated the Ulster countryside. Once these chieftains had submitted, however, King James I of England was willing to let them live on their ancestral lands as English-style nobles but not as petty kings within the old Gaelic social system. Dissatisfied with their new roles, the chieftains took ship to the Continent in 1607. This "flight of the earls" gave the English crown a pretext to confiscate their vast lands and sponsor scattered settlements of British Protestants throughout west and central Ulster (the Ulster Plantation). The crown's actions indirectly encouraged the much heavier unsponsored migration of Scots to the coastal counties of Down and Antrim. These settlements account for the existence in present-day Ulster of numerous Protestants--many them Scottish Presbyterians--of all social classes. Elsewhere in modern Ireland, Protestantism has been confined to a small propertied elite, many of whose members were the beneficiaries of further confiscations a generation after the Ulster Plantation. The pretext for these new confiscations was the rebellion of the Gaelic Irish in Ulster against the British settlers in 1641. Indeed, this rebellion triggered the English Civil War, which put an end to King Charles I's attempt to create an absolutist state (represented in Ireland by the policies of his lord deputy, Thomas Wentworth, 1st earl of Strafford). When the Puritan party defeated Charles, their leader, Oliver Cromwell, quickly imposed (1649-50) English authority on Ireland. Cromwell repaid his soldiers and investors in the war effort with land confiscated largely from the Anglo-Irish Catholics of the Irish midlands who had joined the rebellion hesitantly and only to defend themselves against Puritan policies. The Protestant Ascendancy Hoping to recover their lands and political dominance in Ireland, Catholics took the side of the Catholic king James II in England's Glorious Revolution of 1688 and thus shared in his defeat by William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. The Irish Protestant elite consolidated its victory over what was left of a Catholic elite by enacting a number of Penal Laws designed to exclude the latter from property and power. Protestants had not, however, won for their parliament the powers that the landed elite of England had won for theirs in the Glorious Revolution. Furthermore, British trade policies discriminated against Ireland, and many of the Scottish Presbyterians in Ulster began to emigrate to America, where their descendants became known as the "Scotch-Irish." In 1782 a "Patriot" party led by Henry Grattan and backed by an army of Protestant volunteers persuaded the British government to amend Poynings's Law to give the Irish Parliament legislative independence, including the right to establish Ireland's own tariff policy. The Revolutionary Era The reforms of 1782 did not extend far enough in a democratic direction to satisfy such intellectuals as Wolfe Tone and many of the Presbyterian merchants and farmers of the north, who were prompted by the French Revolution to form the Society of United Irishmen. The United Irishmen allied themselves with the Catholic "Defender" cells that had recently originated out of sectarian conflict in County Armagh and spread throughout the south. A rebellion in 1798 was quickly put down, but it convinced the British government to end Ireland's separate political institutions. Members of the Irish Parliament were cajoled and bribed into passing the Act of Union (1800), which provided for a single Parliament for the British Isles. Catholics, who had been granted the right to vote in 1793, were encouraged to believe that the united Parliament would grant them the right to hold parliamentary seats. Not until 1829, however, when faced by a menacing agitation for Catholic Emancipation led by Daniel O'Connell, did Parliament grant this right. The Growth of Irish Nationalism Ironically, as the state moved toward neutrality between the two religions during the 19th century, the sectarian division of Irish society was taking on new significance as a "nationality" difference. In the 1830s, when O'Connell started a new movement to repeal the Act of Union, he received practically no support from those northern Presbyterians whose fathers had been United Irishmen. Its growing prosperity as an outpost of industrializing Britain made the city of Belfast increasingly committed to the legislative union with Britain. Meanwhile, those parts of Ireland where most Catholics lived lagged badly behind Britain and northeast Ulster in economic development, as was dramatically demonstrated in the 1840s, when the failure of the potato crop for several successive years produced a devastating famine. Between 1841 and 1851, Ireland's population fell from 8.2 million to 6.6 million through starvation, disease, and emigration--especially to the United States. The famine arrested temporarily the growth of nationalism in the Catholic community--in 1848 a rebellion promoted by dissidents from O'Connell's movement ended in farce--but its long-term effect was to strengthen Irish nationalism. In rural Ireland the generation that came of age following the famine experienced modestly rising prosperity and a rapidly increasing awareness of the greater affluence enjoyed by British (and Ulster Protestant) beneficiaries of industrialization--conditions that were favorable to the emergence of a vigorous popular demand for national self-government. Such a demand was enthusiastically supported by the Irish emigrant community in the United States, some members of which had formed an arm of the secret revolutionary society of Fenians. The Home-Rule Movement The agricultural depression of the late 1870s interrupted the rise in prosperity, and the resulting agrarian discontent was harnessed to emerging nationalist aspirations by Charles Stewart Parnell. Under Parnell's leadership an Irish nationalist party, demanding home rule--a separate Irish parliament within the Union--and land reform, was able to win every parliamentary seat having a Catholic majority. This solid bloc of votes gave Parnell and his successor, John Redmond, powerful leverage in British politics whenever neither British party had a clear majority in the House of Commons. By exploiting such a situation in 1910-14, the Irish party finally forced the enactment of a Home Rule Bill--but it also evoked the Ulster Covenant, by which northern Protestants vowed to resist home rule by force. Paramilitary forces were being organized by both sides, and civil war seemed imminent when World War I intervened. Home rule was enacted in 1914 but suspended until the end of the war, when it was understood that Ulster would receive some special treatment. From the 1890s, nationalism found expression in an Irish Literary Renaissance. The poet William Butler Yeats, the playwrights Sean O'Casey and John Millington Synge, and others turned their attention to uniquely Irish subjects and traditions. Writers, students, and Gaelic-language enthusiasts associated with this cultural revival tended to gravitate toward Sinn Fein, a political movement that was founded by Arthur Griffith. The Division of Ireland Frustration arising from the postponement of home rule led to the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. Although a military failure, this rebellion brought a new generation of potential leadership to public attention. At the end of World War I, Sinn Fein candidates, who had pledged not to attend Parliament, won all but six of the Catholic seats away from the more moderate Irish party and set themselves up as a revolutionary parliament, Dail Eireann, in Dublin. While guerrilla warfare by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and reprisals by crown forces were under way in Ireland, the British government attempted to produce an alternative to the Home Rule Act. This 1920 Government of Ireland Act set up separate parliaments for Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, although only the former ever functioned. Dail Eireann refused to accept the new legislation, and, following a cease-fire in 1921, its representatives negotiated a treaty making the Irish Free State a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations and allowing the Northern Ireland Parliament to take the six northern counties out of the dominion. Because some members of the Dail and of the IRA felt honor-bound to accept nothing less than a republic "externally associated" with the Commonwealth, a civil war broke out between protreaty and antitreaty factions, led respectively by Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera. The antitreaty faction was defeated. THE IRISH FREE STATE; EIRE; THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND The state composed of the southern 26 of Ireland's 32 counties has had three different names, which reflect the stages by which the goals of the defeated antitreaty side were actually attained during the generation after the civil war. The Irish Free State Under the 1922 constitution framed by the protreaty side the first prime minister was William T. Cosgrave (1880-1965; see Cosgrave, family). De Valera's republican party refused to sit in the Dail because of the required oath of allegiance to the British crown. Despite the difficulties of governing a state whose very legitimacy was rejected by the major opposition party, the Cosgrave government managed to set up a well-functioning administration and to accomplish some modest reforms. In 1927, however, de Valera reconciled his conscience to taking the oath while denying that he was doing any such thing. After the 1932 election his Fianna Fail party (with Labour party support) was able to form a government, and, as prime minister until 1948 and again in 1951-54 and 1957-59, de Valera consolidated his party's dominance over Cosgrave's party, Fine Gael. Eire In 1937 a new constitution drafted by de Valera was adopted. The new state, Eire, a republic in all but name, remained formally within the British Commonwealth. During World War II, supported by the majority of the southern population, de Valera followed a policy of neutrality. The Republic of Ireland In 1948, John A. Costello (1891-1976), a Fine Gael leader who succeeded de Valera as prime minister in a coalition government, introduced legislation by which the South became a republic outside the Commonwealth. In the 1950s the republic began to turn away from constitutional struggles and toward a greater concern with economic development. The attempt to achieve economic self-sufficiency, a prominent feature of the 1930s, gave way to policies of interdependence. Under Fianna Fail prime minister Sean Lemass (1899-1971; served 1959-66), the republic entered into a free-trade agreement with Britain. His successor, John Lynch, led (1973) the country into the European Economic Community. Lynch was displaced by Fine Gael's Liam Cosgrave in 1973. Fianna Fail returned to power from 1977 to 1981, led first by Lynch and, from 1979, by Charles J. Haughey. Fine Gael leader Garret FitzGerald led a coalition government from 1982 to 1987, when Haughey again took over, continuing in office until 1992. Albert Reynolds of Fianna Fail (1993-94) was succeeded by Fine Gael's John Bruton. Fianna Fail and its allies regained their majority in the 1997 elections. Feudalism had been the essential ingredient of state building that Ireland lacked in the Middle Ages; nationalism may be the essential prerequisite for successful state building in a democratic age. The nationalism that had been growing among Catholics for a century was a prime factor that enabled the South to overcome the bitterness of civil war. NORTHERN IRELAND Whereas the southern Irish state was born out of a positive nationalist demand, Northern Ireland arose out of a negative defensive reaction on the part of a people who never quite became nationalists of any sort. This difference helps in understanding why Northern Ireland failed, whereas the South of Ireland succeeded, at the enterprise of state building. Not being nationalists, Ulster Protestants had no vision of a national fulfillment in which all conflicts would be resolved; on the contrary, they assumed that conflict was inevitable and that constant vigilance was required on the part of the Orangemen and the "Special Constabulary" into which their paramilitary force of 1912-14 had been transformed. This assumption that their state would always be rejected by their "enemies" dissuaded the Unionist governments elected by the Protestant majority from 1921 to the 1970s from even trying to win the allegiance of the Catholics. Members of that minority, however, were convinced by nationalist ideology that sooner or later Irish unity would be attained; they refused to face the fact that partition was a reality that would not go away. Thus in the North the assumptions of both Catholics and Protestants tended to inhibit reconciliation. Nevertheless, several factors more conducive to rapprochement were at work in the decades after World War II. The decline of Northern Ireland's traditional industries (shipbuilding, linen, agriculture) turned the government's attention to industrial development. Educated Protestants--notably Terence O'Neill (1914-90), who served as prime minister (1963-69)--realized that better relations with the republic and with the North's Catholic minority were important to potential investors. O'Neill's overtures struck a responsive chord as the republic was coming to prefer prosperity and interdependence with its neighbors to austere self-sufficiency. The postwar growth of the welfare state in Great Britain gave many northern Catholics a practical reason for accepting the British connection. Unfortunately for O'Neill, such acceptance was expressed not so much in votes for him as in demonstrations for "British rights" led by Bernadette Devlin (b. 1947), and others beginning in 1968. In turning their attention from "Irish unity" to "British rights," northern Catholics were making an important, if hesitant, step toward rapprochement. Not all northern Protestants were ready for rapprochement: a section of them, represented by the Rev. Ian Paisley, were unwilling to accept the premise that Catholics might ever cease to be enemies. O'Neill resigned in the face of attacks from these "loyalists" and was succeeded by James Chichester-Clark (b. 1923), who requested British troops to keep the peace between civil rights demonstrators and extremist Protestant mobs. Even with the backing of troops the state was collapsing, and its inability to provide minimal protection for its Catholic citizens led to the recrudescence of the IRA first as a community defense force and then as an assailant of the crumbling state. The decision of Brian Faulkner, who became prime minister in 1971, to intern IRA suspects without trial led to increasing violence. The final dissolution of the Northern Irish state was recognized by the imposition of "direct rule" from London in March 1972. The crisis dragged on because no effective state replaced the rickety one that had collapsed in 1969-72. An experimental "power-sharing" government of Protestants and Catholics was brought down by a Protestant general strike in 1974. A new provincial assembly was elected in 1982, and in 1985, Britain and Ireland concluded an agreement that for the first time gave the Irish government an advisory role in Northern Irish affairs. Nevertheless, Northern Ireland remained beset by violence until 1994, when secret British negotiations with the IRA finally produced a cease-fire, which was interrupted in 1996 and resumed in 1997. In 1995 the British and Irish governments issued a "framework document" in which they pledged cooperation to create a new political dispensation for Northern Ireland. David W. Miller Bibliography: Brady, Ciaran, Interpreting Irish History (1994); Curran, Joseph M., The Birth of the Irish Free State, 1921-1923 (1980); de Paor, Maire and Liam, Early Christian Ireland (1958; repr. 1978); Ellis, Steven, Tudor Ireland (1985); Foster, Roy, ed., The Oxford History of Ireland (1992); Harkness, David, Ireland in the 20th Century (1995); Herity, Michael, Ireland in Prehistory (1977); Lydon, James, and MacCurtain, Margaret, eds., The Gill History of Ireland, 13 vols. (1972-75); Moody, T. W., and Martin, F. X., eds., The Course of Irish History, rev. ed. (1995); Moody, T. W., Martin, F. X., and Byrne, F. J., eds., A New History of Ireland, 9 vols. (1976- ); O Grada, Cormac, Ireland: A New Economic History, 1780-1939 (1994); Scally, Robert, The End of Hidden Ireland: Rebellion, Famine, and Emigration (1994); Vaughan, W. E., ed., Ireland under the Union, vol. 1 (1989); Wallace, Martin, A Little History of Ireland (1995). Go to top of page. 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