The Irish Revolution and World History: Nation, Race, and Civilization in the Rhetoric of the Irish Revolutionary Generation

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date

Fall 2017


Of all the issues that could bedevil the creation of the League of Nations, the status of Ireland seems rather far down the list. Sinn Féin took seriously President Wilson's language about self-determination and the rights of small nations, and thought that the postwar order would be based on a system of equality between large and small countries. As victims of British imperialism, Irish nationalists also anticipated the breakup of European empires in the wake of the First World War. Thus the creation of Dáil Éireann in Ireland, combined with the near-universal hope that the days of large empires were over—what one historian has dubbed "the Wilsonian moment"—led Sinn Féiners and other Irish revolutionaries to magnify Ireland's importance in the coming postwar settlement.


This article was originally published in Éire-Ireland. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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