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Fianna Fáil in Government 1932-1939
Transcript of Fianna Fáil in Government 1932-1939
Once in power FF began to dismantle the Anglo-Irish Treaty in order to move Ireland away from being a Free State and closer to being a republic. These changes were made: In May 1932, the Oath of Allegiance was abolished. The British protested but de Valera claimed the Statute of Westminster gave him the power to do so. Bunreacht na hÉireann
In 1937, de Valera introduced a new Constitution to replace the 1922 version. It contained no reference to Ireland's relations with Britain of the Commonwealth. Among other things it said: The name of the country was changed from the Irish Free State to Éire or Ireland,
Irish was the first official language. The constitution made Ireland a Republic in all but name, however did not include the word 'republic' because de Valera believed that a republic should be 32-counties. Ulster Unionists opposed the the 1937 Constitution because it claimed Northern Ireland and because it gave the Catholic Church a special place. Once in power de Valera decided to stop land annuity payments to the British government. The Economic War had a serious negative effect on Irish agriculture especially.
Many farmers found it difficult to survive. Unemployment and emigration rose.
It was finally brought to an end by the Anglo-Irish Agreement 1938.
both sides removed all duties
the Irish govt paid £10m to settle the land annuities problem
the British handed back the 'Treaty Ports', Lough Swilly, Berehaven and Cobh Other economic policies included:
Fianna Fáil put tariffs on many imported goods to protect Irish industry from competition
The ICC (Industrial Credit Corporation), Aer Lingus and Bord Fáilte were set up
A house building programme was begun. 130,000+ houses were built creating employment Law and Order
Cosgrave's govt banned IRA and imprisoned many of it's members
When de Valera came to power he lifted the ban and released them
The IRA began to attack Cumann na nGaedheal meetings so the party looked for protection to the Army Comrades Association (ACA), an organisation of former Free State soldiers.
They were known as Blueshirts because of the uniform they wore In Feb 1933 the Garda Commissioner, Eoin O'Duffy was dismissed by the Fianna Fáil govt
He became leader of the ACA and changed it's name to the National Guard
He admired Mussolini and introduced the fascist salute
In Aug 1933 he planned to hold a march in Dublin but, fearing an attempt to overthow the govt, de Valera banned the march and declared the Blueshirts illegal
The Blueshirts then joined with CnaG and others to form Fine Gael in Sept 1933
O'Duffy was its first leader, but he was replaced by Cosgrave who was a better politician The IRA
The IRA had expected de Valera to take immediate action to create a 32-county Republic
When he did not, relations between them became tense and in 1936 the IRA began a murder campaign
Fianna Fáil declared them illegal again FF government ministers refused to attend any functions to which the Governor General was also invited. The office of Governor General was abolished in 1937 In December 1936 there was a crisis in Britain when King Edward VII abdicated to marry Mrs Simpson. De Valera used the crisis to remove all mention of the King from the Constitution of the Irish Free State. Éire consisted of the 32 countries of Ireland but the laws of the country would only apply to the 26 counties until N. Ireland and Éire were united. The Head of State was the President. Douglas Hyde became the first President. The Head of Government was the Taoiseach. Parliament would consist of two houses- the Dáil and Seanad. Freedom of Speech was guaranteed. The special position of the Catholic Church was recognised. Other religions were also recognised and freedom of religion was guaranteed. Divorce was banned. These were repayments on loans which the British had made to Irish farmers to help them buy land from landlords. Up to 1932, the CnaG government collected and passed on these payments. The British reacted by putting a 20% duty on Irish agricultural imports such as cattle, eggs and butter. The Irish govt then put a 5% duty on British imports like coal, steel and cement. Economic War