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Cumann na nGaedheal in Power 1923-1932
Transcript of Cumann na nGaedheal in Power 1923-1932
Establishing Law and Order
The Constitution of the Irish Free State laid out how the country was to be governed.
The President of the Executive Council was the leader of the government (Taoiseach today)
The Irish Free State was a member of the British Commonwealth.
There were two houses of parliament the Dail and the Seanad, they were known as the Oireachtas.
TDs and Senators had to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Irish government and to the King of England.
The king's representative in Ireland was the Governor-General
A new unarmed polive force the Garda Siochana (guardians of the peace) were set up.
The court system was reorganised.
The Public Safety Act gave the government wide powers of arrest.
The Army Mutiny
The Army Mutiny in 1924 was the biggest threat to face the government.
The government planned to reduce the size of the Free State Army.
This caused dissatisfaction in the army.
Some officers also felt the government wasn't progressing fast enough towards a republic.
Kevin O' Higgins Minister for home affairs took action against the leaders.
Officers were arrested and Richard Mulcahy Minster for Defence was forced to resign.
The government had established control over the army.
This was an important step in establishing democracy in the country.
The army should be non political.
The Cumann na nGaedheal government believed that agricultural was more important than manufacturing industry.
The Shannon Scheme
Industry grew slowly during this time.
The government did not favour the use of protection (tariffs on imports) to help Irish industry.
One of the most important projects for the government was the Shannon Scheme . This was a huge hydroelectric dam built on the Shannon at Ardnacrusha to produce electricity.
The Electric Supply Board ESB was set up to distribute electricity around the country.
To examine the new state and Cumann na nGaedheal's role in it.
When the Civil War was over, the pro Treaty party, Cumann na nGaedheal formed a government. It set about establishing a new state. The party was led by W.T. Cosgrave who became President of the Executive Council.
Even though the civil war was over people still had guns - the government had to establish order.
What issues/problems do you think Cumann na nGaedheal had to tackle?
To improve agriculture
Quality standards were set for eggs, meat, butter
Animal breeding methods were improved
Providing loans for farmers Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC)
Having low taxes to keep the cost of farming down
By 1930 agricultural exports to Britain were at their highest for many years.
Relations with Britain
The Boundary Commission
The Anglo Irish Treaty set up a Boundary Commission to make changes to the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland.
Nationalists hoped that the Commission would make Northern Ireland so small that it would be forced to join the South.
The Irish Free State was represented on the Boundary Commission by Eoin Mac Neill
The Commission interviewed people and visited areas along the border. However, the Commission decided to make only minor changes to the border.
This included taking some land from the Free State and giving it to the North.
This disappointed the C na G government.
Cosgrave complained and the border remained the same.
The failure of the Boundary Commission to redraw the border between North and South in favour of the South undermined the popularity of Cumann na nGaedheal.
Ireland in the Commonwealth
The Irish government worked with other Commonwealth governments, such as Canada to gain full independence for the country.
The first step wads the Balfour Declaration (1926) which said that Commonwealth countries were 'equal in status'.
Then, in1931 the British parliament passed the Statue of Westminister. The statute allowed each Commonwealth country to change any laws that had been passed by the British government for that country.
This happened due to negotiations with Britain - Imperial Conferences - Cumann na nGaedheal played a large role in this.
It supported Collins' views of a 'stepping stone' to independence.
Decline of Cumann na nGaedheal
By the end of the 1920's Cumann na nGaedheal's popularity was in decline.