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British War from 1920-1930

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There was very little involvement in war by the British from 1920-1930. This was a characteristic shared with many other countries because another World War was feared. The British however were involved in one war. It was not a full-scale open war, but many died on both sides. This was the Irish War of Independence, also known as the Anglo-Irish War.

The cause of the war was a desire by the Irish to have some sort of self-government. The British granted this demand in 1914, but it was postponed because of the First World War. The Irish rebelled in the Easter rising of 1914 and declared independence. This just caused Britain to enforce conscription, which is the involuntary recruitment of people by an authority. In early 1920 the Irish responded with boycotts until violence broke out in spring that same year(Cottrell 76).

The first targets of violence were the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). The RIC was the police force in Ireland and the people saw them as Britain's eyes and ears in Ireland. The first RIC stations attacked were in isolated, rural areas, but by April, 400 stations were burned to the ground along with 100 income tax offices. Most of the violence was by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). The British began to fight back and carried out almost 40,000 raids on private home, arrested 5,000, shot up 102 towns, and killed 77 unarmed people(Cottrell 146).

On November 21, 1920, a very famous event occurred known as Bloody Sunday. The IRA discovered 14 MI5 agents that were spying on them and had them executed. The British retaliated by storming a football match and shooting into the crowd at random. Fourteen were killed and 65 were wounded. A truce was agreed upon on July 11, 1921(LeRue).

The war ended in most respects as a stalemate. The truce led to talks and the agreement upon the Anglo-Irish Treaty. As a result of the treaty, most of Ireland would be a free state, except for a few counties that would remain part of the British Monarch. Even though the Irish were granted the right to govern themselves, there would be a civil war before any stability came to the country.



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