The Economic War and the Pamphlet War

  • Aidan BeattyEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance book series (PSHF)


In 1932, the Irish Free State became embroiled in an Economic War, when the newly elected de Valera government intentionally defaulted on annuities owed by Irish farmers to the British government under the terms of the 1891 – 1909 Land Acts. This ‘post-colonial wrangle’, as the economic historian Cormac Ó Gráda termed it, was one of the seminal elements of 1930s Irish politics; the debates and actions around the annuities issue helped to redefine the Treatyite divisions of 1920s Ireland into the economic divisions of a populist Fianna Fáil versus a conservative and quasi-fascist Fine Gael in the 1930s. This chapter studies the various pamphlets published in the 1920s and 1930s in which these politico-economic issues were debated, from the socialist writings of Peadar O’Donnell to works produced by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael ideologues.


Economic war Land annuities Fianna Fáil Anglo-Irish Treaty Peadar O’Donnell Eamon de Valera Anti-capitalism 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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