November 21, 2016

2875 IRELAND - The 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising

With the Act of Union in 1800, Ireland (which had been under some form of English control since the 12th century) merged with Great Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, being governed by a united parliament from London. During the 19th century, Irish nationalists opposed this arrangement in varying degrees. Some moderate nationalists advocated for home rule, under which Ireland would remain part of the United Kingdom but also have some form of self-government.

Several home rule bills were defeated in Parliament in the late 1800s before one finally passed in 1914, but its implementation was suspended due to the outbreak of WWI. Meanwhile, members of a secret organization called the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), who wanted to establish an independent Irish Republic, began planning what would become the Easter Rising, while the United Kingdom was heavily engaged in the WWI.

The Easter Rising was intended to take place across Ireland; however, various circumstances resulted in it being carried out primarily in Dublin. On April 24, 1916, the rebel leaders and their followers (about 1,600 people, many of them members of the Irish Volunteers or of the Irish Citizen Army, and even and 200 women of Cumann na mBan), seized the city's general post office and other strategic locations, and Patrick Pearse read a proclamation declaring Ireland an independent republic.

Despite the rebels' hopes, the public did not rise to support them. The British government soon declared martial law in Ireland, and in less than a week the rebels were crushed by the government forces. Some 450 people were killed and more than 2,000 others, many of them civilians, were wounded in the violence, which also destroyed much of the Dublin city center. In May, 15 leaders of the uprising were executed by firing squad.

More than 3,000 people were arrested, and some 1,800 were sent to England and imprisoned there without trial. The rushed executions, mass arrests and martial law fueled public resentment toward the British. In the 1918 general election to the parliament of the United Kingdom, the Sinn Féin political party won a majority of the Irish seats. The Sinn Fein members then refused to sit in the UK Parliament, and in January 1919 met in Dublin to convene an Irish Parliament (Second Dáil) and declare Ireland's independence.

The Irish Republican Army then launched a guerilla war against the British government and its forces in Ireland. Following a July 1921 cease-fire, the two sides signed a treaty in December that called for the establishment of the Irish Free State the following year. Ireland's six northern counties opted out of the Free State and remained with the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland). The fully independent Republic of Ireland was formally proclaimed on Easter Monday, April 18, 1949.

About the stamps
The stamp is part of the series of SOAR stamps The 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising, issued on March 24, 2016. The series is formed from four sets of four stamps: Leaders and Icons, Participants, Easter Week and The Aftermath.

Easter Rising - History
Easter Rising - Wikipedia

Sender: Arnold Paulino (direct swap)
Sent from Dublin (Leinster / Ireland), on 22.10.2016 

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