A war for small nationalities: the Great War, nationalism, and the Irish conscription crisis of 1918

Update item information
Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Humanities
Department History
Author Joesten, Daniel McKenna
Title A war for small nationalities: the Great War, nationalism, and the Irish conscription crisis of 1918
Date 2014-05
Description Throughout the course of World War I, the Irish regiments that fought on the front lines were staffed only with volunteers. Though Britain had extended conscription within the United Kingdom and to its other colonies, Ireland was exempt from drafting soldiers for the war effort. Though the idea of conscripting the Irish had been discussed on multiple occasions within the House of Commons, the motion was always rejected due to the volatile relationship between the two countries. Besides, nearly 200,000 Irishmen volunteered throughout the course of the war. By 1918, things had changed dramatically. The British and Allied forces had lost ground to the advancing Germans, heavy casualties were sustained on both sides, and the British were finding it increasingly difficult to find manpower. In April of 1918 the idea of Irish conscription was revisited, this time with overwhelming support in the House of Commons, and the motion passed with a staggering majority. In addition, Prime Minister David Lloyd George included a provision in the bill to make Irish Home Rule conditional on conscription. The Irish Conscription Crisis defined the next couple of months in Ireland. The Irish Conscription Crisis featured widespread protests, strikes, and increased feelings of alienation from Britain. This thesis focuses on the Conscription Crisis of 1918 as a window into the complex relationship between Britain, Ireland, and the different political factions within Ireland that were polarized by extension of conscription to Ireland. First, the thesis examines the historical spatial separation of Ulster and the southern counties, the creation of difference, and the development of national consciousness in the south. Secondly, the thesis explores the years leading up to the Conscription Crisis and examines the tactics used by the British to recruit the Irish for the war effort and the notion of volunteerism within Irish regiments. Finally, the thesis demonstrates that the protests surrounding the Conscription Crisis in both the southern counties and in Ulster were not merely demonstrations against the forcible taking of men for the war effort. In fact, the protests were themselves manifestations of nationalism and antinationalism in a country that was on the eve of revolution.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Colonialism; Ireland; Irish conscription crisis; Irish nationalism; World War I
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Daniel McKenna Joesten 2014
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 894,425 Bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2886
ARK ark:/87278/s6p01gv3
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2014-05-28
Date Modified 2017-09-19
ID 196455
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6p01gv3