Irish Free State

Ref: C2346577

This course will examine the creation in 1922 of the Irish Free State, comprising all Irish counties except six counties of the province of Ulster. This brought to an end the War of Independence against British rule but also signalled the outbreak of the Civil War, which essentially was a conflict between those for and those against the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty that set up the State. We will consider the arguments at the time for and against the creation of the State, and how the arguments developed into war which tore communities and families apart and was only concluded when the British government intervened by providing arms to pro-Treaty forces. We'll see how Eamonn de Valera, one of the main opponents of the Treaty, eventually came to dominate Irish politics and oversaw the adoption of a new constitution in 1937, effectively creating an Irish republic and largely bringing to an end British involvement in southern Ireland.

Course aim

How the Irish Free State came into being in 1922 and why it was brought to an end in 1937 and succeeded by the Republic of Ireland.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Outline the reasons for opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty
  • Assess how much the outbreak of the Civil War had hinged on personal animosity between Eamonn de Valera and Michael Collins
  • Give reasons why Ulster Unionists only wanted six of the nine counties of Ulster to be within Northern Ireland, with the other three becoming part of the Free State.
  • Explain the significance for Ireland of the Statute of Westminster passed by the British parliament in 1931.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You may find some means of taking notes useful

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Irish Free State


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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