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4 - Business, politics and revolution in early twentieth-century Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 March 2010

Philip Ollerenshaw
Affiliation:
University of the West of England
Terry Gourvish
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

Exploration of the relationships between business and politics in early twentieth-century Ireland offers the opportunity to examine how businessmen responded to widespread violence and partition of the country in 1920. The emergence of modern paramilitary groups, most notably the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in 1913 and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) from about 1918, had important implications for business activity. Business enterprise operated in an environment sometimes characterised by the rule of law, sometimes by lawlessness. An increasingly common feature of this period, especially in the north-east, was workplace violence, the repercussions of which were national in scope and which thus affected business in all parts of Ireland. Moreover, some of the themes so often discussed by historians of continental Europe after the First World War find an echo in Ireland: the significance of borders and borderlands; the economic viability of new political units; plebiscites; business boycotts; the treatment of minorities; the establishment of new parliamentary institutions and their relationship to more violent methods. The interaction of business, politics and governments has been a major research area for Alice Teichova for decades. One of her most recent books examines the relationships between economic change and nationalism in twentieth-century Europe and the present chapter might be seen as a contribution to that subject.

The problem of north-east Ulster

The nature of economic relations between Britain and Ireland, and within Ireland itself, was a major influence on both unionism and nationalism.

Type
Chapter
Information
Business and Politics in Europe, 1900–1970
Essays in Honour of Alice Teichova
, pp. 63 - 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2003

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