Ireland Eamon De Valera Term Paper

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De Valera's Ireland

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Before de Valera's birth, Ireland was in a state of despair and poverty. The country was still recovering from the Great Potato Famine and struggling under the oppressive rule of Mother England. Ireland lacked identity and fruits of labor at the international level. The core issue of the why behind Ireland's poverty was lack of opportunity for its people. The landlord-tenant relationship as feudal as it seems, made the common Irish man's ability to make a living futile. Only the upper class was benefiting from the laissez-faire system focused on agrarian lifestyle. Eamon de Valera grew up in such an Ireland where its people were evicted; starving and the land did not belong to them. The Irish party had failed to achieve Irish freedom through parliamentary methods. Ireland took advantage of Britain's preoccupation with the Boer War and its military inefficiencies to gain strength on the road to rebellion. It was in this bitter environment of struggle that de Valera's ideologies and foundation of leadership was formed. Being a crucial player in the Easter Rising, he would slowly gravitate up the ladder of power to become Ireland's most prominent leader. It was his actions and decisions during the Second World War that drew the blue print for the modern Ireland we know today. Still what was de Valera's political position on the Second World War? How did this position impact his policy on the Irish Free State during the war and ten years after? This paper will explore de Valera's decisions, their impact and repercussions.

Leadership

Term Paper on Ireland Eamon De Valera Assignment

In reading about de Valera, one thing remains clear, the man made Ireland what it is today. He has been compared to other historical leaders like Queen Elizabeth and Louis XIV. The result of his leadership made him the architect of Ireland's economy and social reform. He created the church-state monolith that still overshadows the country today. It was his focus on social needs of the people that not only made him incredibly popular at the time, but also created the foundation of reform for a modern Ireland. He wanted to solve Ireland's problems. He used his personality as being soft-spoken but carrying a huge presence because of his height to his advantage when dealing with formable allies and enemies. He was relentless when pursuing a negotiation and would not back down like a pit bull. In many ways, it was his staunch position of neutrality during the Second World War that made Ireland's dream of independence a reality. Was this the correct decision for Ireland? What is the opportunity cost of such a decision?

In a time of world crisis and threat of war, de Valera chose to take a stand against Britain by declaring Ireland as a neutral state during the Second World War. The country would not take either side in the war. Of course, this decision came under heavy fire from Britain's Churchill. As with any declaration, there were a number of factors that contributed to the final decision. De Valera needed to keep all of his priorities in mind but as a result focused on Irish's issues more than the world's. He took on a protectionist policy by keeping Ireland's resources out of the war would diminish loss for its people. The key issue for Ireland's security was its seaports. Evidently due to Ireland's past mother-daughter relationship with Britain, these seaports were seen as advantageous for the Allies. Britain wanted Ireland's blessing to use these ports during battle. It was a strong strategic move for the Allies to gain strength. Also Britain feared that if Ireland did not permit the Allies to use the ports that it might very well go to Germany.

De Valera made it clear during negotiations that no country would be given an automatic right to the ports. Opening the ports to international use during war would threaten Irish progress in growing industry. It would disrupt commerce and trade. It would put Ireland's people in the face of war. De Valera wanted Britain to agree in a formal arrangement by which Ireland would not be involved in hostilities whenever and wherever Britain was at war (Coogan 512). In further meetings between Churchill and Chamberlain did not dissolve his commitment to his stand.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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