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Flashcards in Cumann na nGaedhael Deck (17)
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Problems faced by Cumann na nGaedhael

£30 million worth of damage
Economy was in ruins
Great bitterness between both sides as a result of the civil war
A large majority did not even recognise the Free State and this threatened its very existence


The Constitution

There were two houses of parliament:
1) Dáil Éireann
2) Seanad Éireann

Members of the Dáil had to swear an oath of allegiance (loyalty) to the king as head of the Commonwealth

The Governor-General was the king's representative in the Irish Free State


Law and order

The main task of Cumann na nGaedhael was to restore law and order
The Minister for Home Affairs (Justice) Kevin O'Higgins set up a new unarmed police force

O'Higgins introduced Public Safety Acts in 1923 and 1924 which allowed the government to imprison IRA members


Public Safety Acts

O'Higgins introduced Public Safety Acts in 1923 and 1924 which allowed the government to imprison IRA members


The Army Mutiny

The biggest threat to the state cane from the army

When the government planned to reduce the size of the army, army officers demanded them to abandon these plans

They also condemned the government for failing to bring the Irish Free State closer to a republic

The government considered this a mutiny and arrested those involved

The army was never a threat after that and this was considered a major achievement of the new government


January 1923

The pro-treaty TDs of Sinn Féin changed their name to Cumann na nGaedhael
Their leader was William T. Cosgrave
The angi-treaty TDs kept their name as Sinn Féin


General election 1923

Sinn Féin refused to take their seats
Labour party became the main opposition party in the Dáil


The Economy

Government believed that agriculture was more important than industry
Wanted to improve quality of eggs, meat, and butter to increase food exports
Agricultural Credit Corporation was set up to give loans to farmers


The Shannon Scheme

Lack of a cheap energy source
Government built a hydroelectric power station
Provided cheap electricity
ESB was set up to distribute electricity


Boundary Commission

In 1924, the Boundary Commission was set up to decide the border between Irish Free State and Northern Ireeland
Eoin MacNeill, minister for education represented Free State
JR Fisher represented Unionists
Justice Richard Feetham of South Africa was 'independent' chairman
Reported in Morning Post, Free State would not acquire large areas of North and would lose small parts of East Donegal
Uproar in Free State and MacNeill resigned
Agreement was reached which left the border unchanged


Relations with Britain

C.N.nGaedhael wanted to increase independence
Joined League of Nations and appointed ambassadors to Vatican and U.S.
Pressurised Britain to increase independence of dominions
British gave in and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster passed


Statute of Westminster

Dáil could pass any laws without interference from Britain
All dominions could change laws that British hade made for them without approval of Britain


Fianna Fáil

Anti-treaty Sinn Féin TDs would not swear oath to king
They could not enter Dáil
1926 - set up Fianna Fáil


Electoral Amendment Act 1927

Stated all TDs must take oath or give up their seats
After this de Valera took oath and entered Dáil


Cumann na nGaedhael became unpopular due to..

The Depression: caused by Wall Street Crash, led to high unemployment
Cutting trachers' salaries to save money


Fianna Fáil promised to..

Break up the Treaty
Put taxes on imports to encourage more Irish industry (more jobs)
Build houses for those living in slums
Improve pensions for the poor


The Achievements of the Cumann na nGaedhael

Created employment --> agriculture, Shannon Scheme

Rebuilt the country after civil war

Economy was repaired

Shannon Scheme --> providing electricity

Statue of Westminster --> pass laws/get rid of laws

Established an Garda Síochána

Army Mutiny - got rid of threat

Special Powers Act

Relations w/ Britain repaired

Electoral Amendment Act