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1919 - Building Foundations in Post-War Instability

Centre for Cross Border Studies

Saturday, 7 September 2019 from 09:00 to 16:30 (IST)

1919 - Building Foundations in Post-War Instability

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This conference is organised by Universities Ireland and is the eighth in a series of annual conferences that will continue until 2023, and is part of a multi-annual programme of activities led by the Universities Ireland Historians Group to reflect on the 1912-1923 period in Irish history. The aim is that this will be a scholarly and sustained initiative, and thus a unique contribution to reflection on a decade of history-changing events by the island’s intellectual leaders, the 10 universities (and, in particular, their Departments of History). The programme includes research scholarships for young historians; lobbying British and Irish museums and archives to enhance access to key historical materials from the period; collaborative history teaching initiatives, and joint conferences and seminars.

Following on from last year’s ‘Votes for the people: 1918, Ireland’s first democratic election? This year’s conference explores the states of flux that characterised the year 1919. It was a year of possibilities; a year of new beginnings; and, for some, a year of dashed hopes. In Paris, the newly established Irish republican government failed to secure a sympathetic ear or a seat at the table in forging the postwar international order.

 Back in Ireland, the country lurched into a new war. 1919 was the year of sporadic attacks on the RIC and later British soldiers in pursuit of arms for the IRA. In Limerick and Belfast, strike action produced brief but innovative forms of government with the former’s Strike Committee entering the annals of history as the ‘Limerick Soviet’. In Ulster, sectarian tensions were never far from the surface. Demobilised veterans posed an issue both in terms of employment and the threat these trained men posed to their political opponents.

1919 was a year of possibilities also, a section of Irishwomen had voted for the first time in 1918 and Constance Markievicz had secured a position in the Dáil cabinet. She was the second woman in the world to have done so after Soviet Commissar Alexandra Kollontai.

 The popular image of the War of Independence is largely a product of conditions that prevailed in 1920 and 1921. In many ways, 1919 was a very different phase in Irish history. Taking regional and labour, gender and society perspectives, the conference examines this pivot point in Irish history with the aim of deepening and widening our understanding of the post-war realities of Ireland, north and south. 

We would be honoured if you would join us for this important conference at The Swift Gallery, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin



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The Swift Theatre
Trinity College
Dublin
Ireland

Saturday, 7 September 2019 from 09:00 to 16:30 (IST)


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