How the Easter Rising changed the world.

volunteers-of-the-irish-republican-army-move-through-grafton-street-the-battle-of-dublin-19221The suicidal uprising by Irish Nationalist volunteers during Easter Week 1916 reduced the centre of Dublin to ruins and caused several hundred dead and over two thousand wounded. The brutal execution by firing squad of the ring leaders was a public relations disaster for the British. It outraged public opinion in the US and became an inspiration for home rule movements throughout the Empire. Lenin was galvanised by the event and in India Annie Besant regaled local nationalists with the inspirational examples of James Connolly and Patrick Pearse. Britain’s image as the ‘liberal’ empire was shattered.

The crisis eventually brought radical David Lloyd-George into Downing Street, where he was able to steer the British establishment towards ideas of self government for the colonies and an extended franchise which included Votes for Women, measures which would have seemed inconceivable before Dublin’s ‘blood sacrifice’.

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