Essay on The Easter Uprising of 1916
1369 Words6 Pages
The Easter Uprising of 1916
The Easter Uprising of 1916 was an event that happened at the tail end of a long list of events that would forever change Ireland. The Uprising or Rising, as some call it, took place mostly in Dublin but was felt throughout Ireland. The point was to gain independence from Great Britain who had ruled Ireland for the past couple hundred years. At the turn of the 19th century England believed that Ireland had too much independence and made the Act of Union. “The result was the Act of Union of 1801: the Irish parliament voted itself out of existence and England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales were formally politically unified for the first time” (Hegarty 2). Around the time of the First World War, Ireland began…show more content…
The Irish were promised the Home Rule Act, but it was taken away at the start of the Ester Uprising. “This modest promise was swept away the Easter Uprising of 1916, when a small band of rebels paralyzed the city and the Irish Republic was proclaimed from the steps of the GPO” (Hegarty). Padhraic Pearse led about 2000 people into the Easter Revolution, only a small fraction of the people that had lived in Dublin at the time. Most of the Irish were involved in World War I. “They had little support – many Irish volunteers had joined the war effort and the rebels were perceived to be traitors to the great cause” (Hegarty). It would take more violence and rebellion against the British to bring attention to their cause both locally and abroad.
The Easter Rising led to the arrests of approximately 3500 people. Although more than half were released after they were questioned; many received unfair trials or no trial at all. When the news broke to the Irish public about the treatment of the rebels, they also found out that there were 15 fifteen secret executions, of the leaders of the Uprising. The tables began to turn away from the War to the aid of the rebels as the truth came out. “The seven signatories of the proclamation of independence ( Pearse, Connolly, Clarke, MacDonagh, MacDermott, Plunkett, and Ceannt) were all executed to the outrage of the Irish
Easter 1916 Essay
2187 Words9 Pages
The 1916 Easter Rebellion spoke to the heart of Irish nationalism and emerged to dominate nationalist accounts of the origin and evolution of the Irish State. The decision by a hand- full of Irish patriots to strike a blow for Irish independence mesmerized the Irish people in its violent intensity and splendor.
According to Richard Kearney, author of Myth and Terror, suddenly everything was dated 'Before or after Easter Week'. The subsequent executions of the sixteen rebel leaders by the British authorities marked an incredible transformation from Irish patriots to their martyrdom, which came to represent the high-water mark of redemptive violence, a glorious beginning and a bloody ending. The initial reaction in…show more content…
Men like Pearse and MacDonagh were products of the Irish Literary Revival, spearheaded by Yeats, during the " Golden Age" in Ireland. They exemplified the Irish mythological tradition to sacrifice in the name of dead generations, and to pick up where the Young Irelanders left off.
Pearse and many of his comrades never entertained any hope of surviving the Rising, or of defeating the British. The 1916 rebel leaders operated on the assumption that sacrifice obeys the laws of myth not politics. An Irish victory could only spring from defeat, and demanded the death of Irish heroes. According to Pearse and his comrades, they would lose the victory in life, but "they would win it in death".
Kearney points out that in "The Coming Revolution" Pearse wrote: "we may make mistakes in the beginning and shoot the wrong; but bloodshed is a cleansing and a sanctifying thing, and the nation which regards it as the final horror has lost its manhood." According to Kearney, the rebel leaders realized that an eternal victory could be ensured only by a Rising that "reached back to the roots of the Gaelic national spirit," and was energized by the memories of 1803, 1848, and 1867.
The poem, "Easter 1916", expresses Yeats's grief and horror at the events of Easter Week. Yeats began writing the poem within weeks of the executions in May 1916,