Ireland's exiled children: America and the Easter Rising by Robert Schmuhl

By Robert Schmuhl

Of their lengthy fight for independence from British rule, Irish republicans had lengthy appeared west for support, and with cause. The Irish-American inhabitants within the usa used to be better than the inhabitants of eire itself, and the bond among the 2 cultures was once visceral. Irish exiles residing in the United States supplied monetary support-and usually even more than that-but additionally the muse of instance, evidence existence self sustaining of britain was once possible. but the instant of crisis-"terrible beauty," as William Butler Yeats positioned it-came within the armed rebellion in the course of Easter week 1916. Ireland's "exiled kids in the USA" have been said within the Proclamation asserting "the Provisional executive of the Irish Republic," a rfile which circulated in Dublin at the first day of the emerging. the us was once the one kingdom singled out for providing eire support. but the instant of the rebellion was once certainly one of battle in Europe, and it was once changing into transparent that the US could take part the alliance with France and Britain opposed to Germany. for plenty of Irish-Americans, the alternative of loyalty to American coverage or the house Rule reason was once deeply divisive.

Based on unique archival study, Ireland's Exiled Children brings into daring reduction 4 key figures within the Irish-American connection at this deadly juncture: the unrepentant Fenian radical John Devoy, the driver one of the Irish exiles in the USA; the yankee poet and journalist Joyce Kilmer, whose writings at the emerging formed public opinion and guided public sympathy; President Woodrow Wilson, descended from Ulster Protestants, whose antipathy to Irish independence matched that to British imperialism; and the single chief of the emerging now not carried out via the British-possibly as a result of his having been born in America--Éamon de Valera. every one in his manner contributed to America's aid of and reaction to the emerging, informing the bigger narrative and commonly reflecting reactions to the development and its sour aftermath.

Engaging and soaking up, Schmuhl's booklet captures via those figures the complexities of yankee politics, Irish-Americanism, and Anglo-American family members within the warfare and post-war interval, illuminating a key a part of the tale of the emerging and its carry at the imagination.

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Extra info for Ireland's exiled children: America and the Easter Rising

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That is why throughout this study I focus on the actual documents and journalistic coverage directly related to the Rising and its aftermath. Contemporary commentary will help readers put primary sources in context and also (one hopes) help them to become more immersed in events of a century ago. Surveying the entire territory brought into bold relief specific figures, all with strong ties to the United States, and all central characters in either the Rising itself or in responses to it—​or both.

The roles Kilmer and Wilson played in the uprising come between Devoy and de Valera, and they are critical in responding to it. A journalist and poet, Kilmer was quick to put into words for American readers what the rebels had done. By contrast, Wilson did his best to avoid committing to a stand on an international and domestic situation loaded with what he viewed as political dynamite. While Kilmer’s reactions to the Rising left no doubt as to his sympathies, Wilson tried to keep his precise views within the walls of the White House, despite pressure from Congress and Irish-​American organizations to make his position clear.

From reports on April 25, describing his capture near Tralee after he arrived on a German submarine, until he was hanged for treason in London on August 3, a steady series of stories about Casement’s previous adventures and his ensuing courtroom dramatics kept the Rising newsworthy and in the public’s mind. That he had been returning to Ireland from Germany with the supposed objective of trying to halt the insurrection added a sense of mystery to his involvement. Casement’s mental state was vigorously debated in several profiles—​the Washington Post on June 4, for example, published “Madmen Make History: Sir Roger Casement Would Have Been Immortal If He Had Succeeded”—​ which raised serious concern that the British government’s use of the death penalty constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

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