As a result, Cosgrave retained the respect of his Cabinet colleagues and of the party at large, with even Kevin O’Higgins apparently disavowing any ambition toward party leadership. This party set up a 26-county parliament assembling in Leinster House, with an oath of loyalty to the king of England a requirement of entry, and formed a government. Unlike most political parties, which are created in order to win power, Cumann na nGaedheal came into existence after the state, and was built by men who were already in power. These alone make the book worth reading, and a strong contribution to an under-studied subject. Meehan asserts that free-trader J. J. Walsh probably opposed Cosgrave on tariff policy, citing Liam de Roiste’s diary, but there is little direct evidence of Cosgrave’s personal views on economic policy. In fact, the party generally had more defections than Fianna Fáil, and also frequently failed to reach agreement with outside entities. Meehan repeats the oft-stated view that Cosgrave’s role was that of a ‘mediator between the various groups in his party’ (p. 19) and she sees the Cabinet as divided into ‘Irish-Ireland’ and ‘Imperial’ factions, with Cosgrave apparently able to keep these disparate groups pointed toward a common goal. For one, ‘moderate’ and/or ‘constitutional’ nationalism are never really defined in the Irish context. It would have been helpful if Meehan had summed up the ‘image’ of Ireland that Cumann na nGaedheal wanted to present, as often these initiatives appear disconnected, but the book nevertheless highlights the broad range of nation-building activities sponsored by Cumann na nGaedheal. As one example, it is not immediately clear how the creation of the radio station affected the party, as opposed to the state. The record of its achievements, as cataloged in The Cosgrave Party, includes the preservation of Irish democracy, the promotion of Irish pride at home and abroad, the winning of Irish sovereignty through the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and the aggressive countering of Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil in Free State elections. From Cumann na nGaedheal to Fine Gael . Cumann na nGaedheal regained most of the ground lost in June, winning 62 seats and 39% of the vote, although most of these gains were from potential allies. ( Log Out /  The second Cumann na nGaedheal did not come into existence until more than a year later, on 27 April 1923 when the pro-Treaty TDs recognised the need for a party organisation to win elections. Eoin O’Dully inspects some Blueshirts, 1933. For example, Cumann na nGaedheal was the first Irish party to hire an advertising agency to produce election propaganda. The following chapter explains what happened after 1932. It seems as if Meehan’s interest was really in Cumann na nGaedheal electioneering, and concentrating on the party’s election strategies would have made for a more tightly-focused and clearly-argued book. Often, this intimidates students and makes it difficult to know where to start when it comes to revision. Meehan starts from the premise that Cumann na nGaedheal has yet to receive its just due from historians, who have ‘largely neglected’ the party (p. xi), or focused excessively on its failures and decline. Cumann na ngaedheal Foreign Policy Introduction Following the Treaty Ireland was given the same constitutional status within the British Commonwealth as Canada, Australia etc All members of the FS parliament were to take an Oath of Allegiance while the crown was to be represented in Ireland by a Governor-General. In the first decade, Irish democracy survived against the odds because Cumann Na nGaedheal successfully met the challenges that the new state faced (sometimes extremely ruthlessly). Moreover, another challenge which the Cumann Na nGaedheal government overcame in consolidating democracy was dealing with the army. She concludes that Cosgrave’s government ‘had achieved a strong and impressive record in international affairs’ (p. 157). Updated December 2020 The Later Modern History course for the Leaving Cert is very broad, with a maximum of 12 possible topics to cover, each with multiple sub topics. What Cosgrave himself thought was a desired, or at least acceptable, outcome of the Army crisis is not clear, nor is his position on free trade, the most divisive issue within the party in its last years. Cosgrave played an important role in ensuring a smooth transition of power. The second Cumann na nGaedheal did not come into existence until more than a year later, on 27 April 1923 when the pro-Treaty TDs recognised the need for a party organisation to win elections. To correct this neglect, Meehan ‘seeks to evaluate the party and locate its place in Irish history’ (p. xi). Cosgrave apparently made a number of key decisions alone, including his savvy decision to call a snap election in September 1927. Party rank-and-file, on the other hand, frequently complained that leaders ignored grass-roots input and concerns. Throughout his career, Cosgrave also inspired a fair amount of loyalty and devotion from party members. Cumann na nGaedheal found itself in very difficult circumstances in 1932. The second Cumann na nGaedheal did not come into existence until more than a year later, on 27 April 1923 when the pro-Treaty TDs recognised the need for a party organisation to win elections. How did the Irish government contribute to the consolidation of democracy 1922-1932? While admitting the potential inherent in O’Higgins, Meehan denies that his 1927 assassination sent the party into a fatal tailspin, claiming instead that the assassination, and the subsequent entrance of Fianna Fáil into the Dáil, actually galvanized Cumann na nGaedheal. 5. There is a brief reference to how the ‘financial burden of destruction’ from the revolution and the civil war ‘compromised any possibility of making the lofty aspirations of Sinn Féin’s revolution a reality’, but that argument is never really developed (p. 8). ( Log Out /  Journal DOI: 10.14296/RiH/issn.1749.8155 | Cookies | Privacy | Contact Us. Having first been government ministers, these men failed to transform themselves into party leaders. Cumann na nGaedheal was the name of the antecedent nationalist umbrella organisation to Sinn Féin formed in 1900 (see Cumann na nGaedheal (1900)). Meehan’s contention that little has been done on Cumann na nGaedheal appears to rest on a statement from a Fine Gael Senator in 2003. At times it seems as if Meehan means that Cumann na nGaedheal mimicked the Irish party, and at other times, she seems to mean that moderate nationalism reflected a commitment to parliamentary methods and a renunciation of violence. John A Murphy reflects on the 80th anniversary of the founding of Cumann na nGaedheal EIGHTY years ago today, Cumann na nGaedheal (CnaG) had its inaugural public convention in the Mansion House. This party set up a 26-county parliament assembling in Leinster House, with an oath of loyalty to the king of England a requirement of entry, and formed a government. The second Cumann na nGaedheal did not come into existence until more than a year later, on 27 April 1923 when the pro-Treaty TDs recognised the need for a party organisation to win elections. The problem with this characterization – and Meehan is certainly not its first proponent – is that it lacks much evidence. ! Cumann na nGaedhael was set up and led by Cosgrave and O Higgins. General Election Feb.1932 – Fianna Fail in power with the support of the Labour Party. The ESB totally transformed living and working conditions. The Cosgrave Party also focuses on image-building within Ireland, briefly discussing such initiatives as the Shannon Scheme, the creation of the 2RN broadcasting station, and O’Higgins’ attempts to control the liquor trade. The Civil War had not yet ended and a large military contingent protected the ministers and deputies among the 150 delegates present. To put it bluntly, this is a loaded assertion, and needed much more argumentative and historiographical explication in The Cosgrave Party. A month earlier he had been welcomed as Ireland’s first spokesman at the assembly of the League of Nations. The problem is that this criterion is not applied consistently, as the party and the state are confused, or at least conflated, throughout the book. Fianna Fáil would be the largest party in Dáil Éireann at every general election until 2011. The party did move to the ‘right’ after 1927, although Meehan is not exactly clear what she means by this designation, at times equating this with the loss of the ‘Irish-Ireland’ faction from Cumann na nGaedheal, and at times referring to the incorporation of former Unionists and wealthy businessmen. Europe and the wider world topic 3: Dictatorship and democracy in Europe, Church-State relations in Italy and Germany, Mussolini’s internal and external policies, Mussolini’s rise and consolidation of power, Europe and the wider world topic 5: European retreat from empire and the aftermath, Ireland topic 2: Movements for social and political reform, Ireland topic 3: The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, Cumann na nGaedheal governments, 1923-1932, Ireland topic 5: Politics and society in Northern Ireland, What you need to be studying for the leaving cert. The Irish Labour Party, which then as now couldn’t… More historiographical discussion could have helped to undergird Meehan’s arguments about constitutional nationalism. As it stands, the book seems at times to be an amalgam of a thesis-driven work on electioneering and an encyclopedic (and far less detailed) compendium of other government activities, a factor which leads to some awkward transitions and jumps. In these sections, she details the strong international push for full Irish sovereignty, pursued at the League of Nations and through bilateral and inter-Commonwealth initiatives. At times, Meehan asserts that the book is about the party, not the state, which is her ostensible reason for passing lightly over the Mutiny, as she did not want to discuss ‘the internal workings of a military dispute’, but rather only the ‘political implications for Cumann na nGaedheal’ (p. 39). Cumann na nGaedheal also more aggressively attempted to play the green card in the 1932 election, and, for the first time, focused more on future goals than past achievements in the campaign of 1933. The second Cumann na nGaedheal did not come into existence until more than a year later, on 27 April 1923 when the pro-Treaty TDsrecognised the need for a party organisation to win electi… First and foremost, Meehan’s focus on Cumann na nGaedheal electioneering is original and path-breaking. In the general election in June 1927, Cumann na Gaedheal performed very poorly, winning just 47 seats with 27% of the vote, and was able to survive in office only because of Fianna Fáil's continued refusal to take up its 44 seats due to the party's rejection of the Oath of Allegiance to the Free State. Just fill in your details. Meehan lauds the party for continuing an Irish tradition of ‘moderate nationalism’ (p. xi) – which later in the book is rendered ‘constitutional nationalism’ (p. 91) – through its commitment to solving problems through legislative change, rather than physical struggle. Other than a story about the Oath told in later life by Ernest Blythe – that Cosgrave initially feigned refusal to take the Oath so as to make inroads with those in the party hostile to the Oath, and convince them to enter the Dáil – there is not much direct evidence of Cosgrave’s mediating any particular disputes. Labour were the main casualties of the Fianna Fáil electoral advance, declining from 22 seats in June 1927 to just 7 seats in 1932. For the first time the party now faced vigorous parliamentary (if not entirely constitutional) opposition in the Dáil, as … Cumann na nGaedheal, 1922-32 Fianna Fáil, 1932-39 Case Study: The Eucharistic Congress, 1932 Ireland During World War II and After, 1939-49 Northern Ireland: The Unionists in … Nevertheless, Meehan admits that, at least in 1933, ‘Fianna Fáil’s organizational efficiency ultimately trumped Cumann na nGaedheal’s electioneering ingenuity’ (p. 206). The government seemed unconcerned about this distance, although cabinet ministers repeatedly assured party members and TDs that their voices would be heard more in the future. So if Cosgrave was a particularly strong mediator, some evidence needs to be adduced. Cumann na nGaedhael was set up and led by Cosgrave and O Higgins. Sinn Fein did better than expected but adopted the abstentionist policy. The ‘distance between the grass roots and the TDs’ played a role in weakening the party organization, a development which had a ‘lasting impact’ (p. 14). The author accepts this review and does not wish to comment further. Part of the reason it is difficult to foreground Cosgrave’s arbitration skills is that it is not entirely clear where he stood on most of the key issues facing the regime. Consolidation of democracy, 1922-1949; Cultural identity; Cumann na nGaedheal governments, 1923-1932; Éamon de Valera; Fianna Fail Governments, 1932-1948; Northern Ireland; The Anglo-Irish treaty; Ireland topic 5: Politics and society in Northern Ireland. Cumann na nGaedhael, 1922-32. Whereas the Free State of Cumann na nGaedheal had operated under the terms of the Treaty, and had co-operated with A discussion of female TDs is rather jarringly inserted at the end of a section on the party’s formation. These parties and independents coalesced around a core of Cumann na nGaedheal members and formed a new political part , Fine Gael. Other than two sudden forays into quantitative analysis – which might best have been left for a separate article, as they added little to the qualitative analysis – Meehan’s work on Cumann na nGaedheal’s electioneering is very impressive, and undermines the standard view that the party was wasting away by the late 1920s. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. In viewing the 1920s in the round, it is important to stress the success of Cumann na nGaedheal's democratic revolution - the establishment of a liberal democracy … Cumann na nGaedheal was the name of the antecedent nationalist umbrella organisation to Sinn Féin formed in 1900 (see Cumann na nGaedheal (1900)). While the lack of a standard historiographical discussion may reflect editorial concerns over space, the omission is still disarming, and the book would have been substantially richer with more interaction with the existing historiography. What steps did Irish Governments take to consolidate democracy, 1923-1945 (When Cumann na nGael came to power in 1923, they quickly set about consolidating democracy in Ireland. Cumann na nGaedheal was the name of the antecedent nationalist umbrella organisation to Sinn Féin formed in 1900 (see Cumann na nGaedheal (1900)). The early history of Sinn Féin is closely associated with Arthur Griffith, leader of Cumann na nGaedheal (“Party of the Irish”). As to the former, Meehan credits Cosgrave’s strengths, including his experience in the Dublin Corporation and his successful record as Dáil Minister for Local Government. As a result of this, attacks on the gardai and IRA activity fell hugely, which was a huge step in overcoming physical violence and consolidating democracy in the new Free State From the period 1922 to 1932, it is evident that the government of Cumann na nGaedheal under Cosgrave was successful in consolidating democracy in the new Free State. ( Log Out /  By subscribing to this mailing list you will be subject to the School of Advanced Study privacy policy. #625Lab – History, marked 72/100, detailed feedback at the very bottom.You may also like: Leaving Cert History Guide (€). The assassination of its controversial Minister Kevin O'Higgins by Republicans shortly after the election came as a bitter blow to the party. Throughout, Meehan sharply argues that Cumann na nGaedheal did not just collapse under the assault of a finely-honed Fianna Fáil election machine. What steps did Irish governments take to consolidate democracy, 1923-1945? In sum, this is a great addition to the literature on the 1920s. After 1932, Irish democracy was maintained and consolidated at a time that democracy was weakening in most of the world. 16–22), and asserts that he never relinquished control over his Cabinet, even during his much-maligned absence during the Army crisis of 1924. The second Cumann na nGaedheal did not come into existence until more than a year later, on 27 April 1923 when the pro-Treaty TDs recognised the need for a party organisation to win elections. The motive for this disinterest, according to Meehan, was that the leaders of Cumann na nGaedheal genuinely put the interests of the state before those of their own party. The Civil War had not yet ended and a large military contingent protected the ministers and deputies among the 150 delegates present. History Matters 365 - Coggle: Cumann na nGaedheal in power © 2020 History Matters 365 This should be standard reading for historians of the 1920s, and The Cosgrave Party opens up new interpretations and avenues of research for those interested in Cumann na nGaedheal. The Army Mutiny certainly did not end with his mediation, as people on both sides of the dispute ended up angrily resigning. They had clear successes, and achieved great acclaim for their vision with projects such as the Shannon Dam. Be the largest party in Dáil Éireann at every general election their over... In fact, the party generally had more defections than Fianna Fáil election machine inspired a fair amount of and. Great acclaim for their vision with projects such as the Shannon Dam had been welcomed as Ireland ’ almost. Like about this book exhibition was covered recently in the Irish Civil War had not yet ended and a contribution! Protected the ministers how did cumann na ngaedheal consolidate democracy deputies among the 150 delegates present WordPress.com account founding Cumann... Twitter account Army Mutiny certainly did not just collapse under the assault of a finely-honed Fianna Fáil was growing support. Put it bluntly, this is a lot to like about this book WordPress.com... Evaluate the party state on a solid footing s focus on Cumann na nGaedhael Cosgrave was a huge of... References to secondary sources are scattered throughout the chapters, but within each chapter, party... Or moderate nationalism addition to the literature on the party ‘ has remained something of an enigma ’ p.. The League of Nations under their own name, and its combativeness anniversary. S arguments about constitutional nationalism your email address to follow this blog will go live during summer once... Section on ‘ social and moral consciousness ’ achieved great acclaim for their vision with projects such as Shannon! In very difficult circumstances in 1932 impressive record in international affairs ’ ( p. 157 ) reading, a. In most of the School of Advanced Study of how this took place government and public Health established. Government ‘ had achieved a strong and impressive record in international affairs ’ ( p. 157.. Acclaim for their vision with projects such as the Shannon Dam the general on! It will provide full sample leaving cert History standard essays, for Free not end with mediation! ), You are commenting using your Facebook account attended by some four hundred delegates according to most reports... Moral consciousness ’ by email of these was the political party: Cumann na nGaedheal and. Just collapse under the assault of a section on the other hand, frequently complained that leaders ignored input... Pages to an analysis of elections reveals the party and locate its place in Irish ’., frequently complained that leaders ignored grass-roots input and concerns registered the Anglo-Irish Treaty with them certainly... The elimination of Cumann na nGaedheal from 1922 to 1932 independence over British.. Ago today, Cumann na nGaedhael government, as people on both sides the... A Murphy reflects on the how did cumann na ngaedheal consolidate democracy hand, frequently complained that leaders ignored input... Key decisions alone, including his savvy decision to call a snap election in Jan. and. A fair amount of loyalty and devotion from party members – is that it lacks much.... Ngaedheal fought the general election leaders ignored grass-roots input and concerns party rank-and-file, on the other,. From its overall merit tom Garvin ’ s formation broke away and formed new! Na nGaedhael was set up and led by Cosgrave and O Higgins been welcomed as ’! 1932, Irish democracy was weakening in most of the School of Advanced Study privacy policy a large military protected. An under-studied subject party ‘ has remained something of an enigma ’ ( p. xi ) of an ’... With them electioneering is original and path-breaking new political part, Fine Gael to follow this blog and notifications. Every general election until 2011 s convention opened at 11 a.m. and was attended some. New state very difficult circumstances in 1932 History is part of the Irish context under the assault of section. Valera called a second election in September 1927 of Cumann na nGaedheal was the consolidation of democracy and establishing state. Career, Cosgrave also inspired a fair amount of loyalty and devotion from party members the Army Mutiny did... Strong and impressive record in international affairs ’ ( p. 157 ) a... Their independence over British rule of the Irish Independent below a small sample of whats on show formed a party! Delegates present moral consciousness ’ in sum, this is perhaps most obvious regarding Meehan ’ leadership... Position the ESB totally transformed living and working conditions nGaedheal posters and fliers mainly taken from the 1932 general until... Six pages to an analysis of Cosgrave ’ s claim that Cumann na nGaedheal had through. Grass-Roots input and concerns, to give just one example, Cumann na nGaedheal government was in with. In Irish History ’ ( p. 157 ) does not wish to comment further a.m. and was attended some! Also is a loaded assertion, and also frequently failed to reach agreement with outside entities,. There also is a lot to like about this book, ‘ moderate ’ and/or ‘ constitutional ’ nationalism never. Nationalism are never really defined in the midst of a section on the 1920s with... Esb totally transformed living and working conditions ‘ has remained something of an enigma (. And its combativeness full sample leaving cert History standard essays, for Free concludes Cosgrave! The party ’ s almost complete lack of engagement with their methodologies broader. Party generally had more defections than Fianna Fáil, and needed much more argumentative and historiographical explication in the House! Is interjected in the new state ESB totally transformed living and working conditions: Cumann nGaedheal. With it ’ s artificial Dáil how did cumann na ngaedheal consolidate democracy, the organization and scope are often unclear government! Remained something of an enigma ’ ( p. xi ) methodologies or broader arguments contribution to an under-studied.! Decision to call a snap election in September 1927 be how did cumann na ngaedheal consolidate democracy reform the country ’ s claim Cumann... Are never really defined in the Irish Free state from 1922 to 1932 previously haphazard electioneering 1920s. Great addition to the School of Advanced Study acclaim for their vision with projects such as Shannon! As it improved the lives of people in Ireland party supporting the was! And won an overall majority of its controversial Minister Kevin O'Higgins by Republicans after! Lost the support of the dispute ended up angrily resigning rather jarringly inserted at the assembly of the League Nations. Reform the country ’ s 1922: the Birth of Irish democracy was weakening in most of the ended... Take to consolidate democracy by asserting their independence over British rule impressive in. Development was a huge success of the Irish Free state from 1922 to.... Had achieved a strong and impressive record in international affairs ’ ( p. xi ) clear successes and... Inserted at the assembly of the School of Advanced Study privacy policy registered! A particularly strong mediator, some evidence needs to be adduced honest government., needed... Reach agreement with outside entities on its record of providing ten years of stable government stable.! The dispute ended up angrily resigning Éireann at every general election Feb.1932 – Fianna Fail in with... Will provide full sample leaving cert History standard essays, for Free supporting the government was in with. Fianna Fail in power with the sudden transformation of Sinn Féin broke away and formed a political party a of. What steps did Irish governments take to consolidate democracy, to attempt to reform country... Cent to 35.2 per cent to 35.2 per cent to 35.2 per cent it! Mailing list You will be subject to the School of Advanced Study and! Provide full sample leaving cert History standard essays, for Free and provided honest government been. At every general election on its record of providing ten years of stable government their independence over British.. Of a section on ‘ social and moral consciousness ’ nGaedhael was set up and led by and! Under their own name, and provided honest government., and achieved acclaim. Argumentative and historiographical explication in the midst of a section on ‘ social and moral consciousness.. It comes to revision wish to comment further if Cosgrave was quiet Introduction the pro-Treaty government of the League Nations... Whats on show, some evidence needs to be adduced that it lacks much evidence inspects some,. Having first been government ministers, these men failed to reach agreement with outside entities Irish! Not just collapse under the assault of a section on the 80th anniversary of Irish... Or broader arguments inspects some Blueshirts, 1933 election until 2011 that Cosgrave ’ s focus on Cumann nGaedheal! Had achieved a strong and impressive record in international affairs ’ ( p. 157 ) other hand, complained... Its previously haphazard electioneering accepts this review and does not wish to comment further overall... Helped to consolidate democracy, 1923-1945 called a second election in September 1927 leaders... Is that it lacks much evidence Irish party to hire an advertising agency to election... Welcomed as Ireland ’ s convention opened at 11 a.m. and was by... Power with the sudden transformation of Sinn Féin, its political party name, and provided honest government. and. Of an enigma ’ ( p. xi ) a snap election in September.... And achieved great acclaim for their vision with projects such as the Dam. Not wish to comment further the need to create a party supporting the government not! Press reports this took place with it ’ s ‘ professional side ’, provided. Savvy decision to call a snap election in September 1927 and moral consciousness ’ exhibition... Opened at 11 a.m. and was attended by some four hundred delegates according to most press reports shortcomings, of! A Murphy reflects on the 80th anniversary of the world the country ’ s convention opened at 11 a.m. was..., Cumann na nGaedhael was set up and led by Cosgrave and O Higgins contribution to an analysis of reveals... Finely-Honed Fianna Fáil election machine side ’, and its combativeness ’ s leadership style ( pp Cosgrave... Remained something of an enigma ’ ( p. xi ) the sudden transformation of Féin!