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State Repression in the Civil War’s Aftermath

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Abstract

The half decade between the ambiguous end of the civil war and the rise of de Valera’s Fianna Fáil party in the late 1920s was a deeply traumatic period for the losers of the conflict. In his oration at the 1924 Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown, republican propagandist Brian O’Higgins spoke of ‘the cesspools of calumniation … the thorny ways of poverty … the torture-hells called prisons and the bitterness of exile’ that ‘republican idealists’ in every generation had been forced to endure.1 O’Higgins’ prophetic comments neatly telegraph the central features of republicans’ collective experience living under a newly consolidated post-revolutionary status quo. Stripped of O’Higgins’ literary language, the primary post-revolutionary difficulties republican sources have stressed include ongoing persecution by the state; financial hardship brought about by imprisonment and economic discrimination amidst the depressed postwar economy; and a mass exodus abroad. To what extent does this picture stand up to scrutiny? Were the forces of repression as severe as republicans alleged? Did the losers of the civil war suffer inordinate hardship as a result of an orchestrated campaign of economic victimization? Did republican activists emigrate from the early Free State in especially high numbers? And if so, were government repression and economic victimization the main ‘push factors’ behind this exodus?

Keywords

Public Safety State Repression Hunger Strike Habeas Corpus Republican Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Gavin Maxwell Foster 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Concordia UniversityCanada

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