A Republic With A Price by Gerry Shannon
Author says: what if the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1920 instead led to a 32-county Republic of Ireland? And what if President Eamon De Valera was present in the Irish delegation at the Treaty negotiations? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
In 1921, both the Irish and
British government delegates sign the Anglo-Irish Treaty at Downing Street;
thereby bringing an end to a conflict between British forces and Irish militants
across the island of Ireland since April 1916, not to mention seven centuries of
occupation of the British government over it's island neighbour.
The first two weeks of the negotiations were spent in formal sessions. Upon the request of De Valera and his Secretary of State for Finance (and Director of Intelligence in the Irish Republican Army), Michael Collins, the two delegations began informal negotiations, in which only two members of each negotiation team were allowed to attend (pictured). On the Irish side, these members were always Collins and De Valera, while on the British side, Neville Chamberlain always attended, though the second British negotiator would vary from day to day.
In late November, the Irish delegation returned to Dublin as per De Valera's promise to his cabinet colleagues to consult them, and again on 3rd December. Many points still had to be resolved, mainly surrounding the unionist allegiance to an Irish republic, but it was clear to all the politicians involved by this stage that it was not an option to partition the country into two states, north and south; thereby granting the unionist minority a majority in a six-county Northern Ireland state.
Collins, who would emerge in the new government as Commander of the Irish Republican Army, said later that at the last minute Lloyd George reminded his own delegation of a renewal of a "terrible and immediate war" from the Irish republicans if the Treaty was not signed at once. However, this was not mentioned as a fear in the Irish memorandum about the close of negotiations, merely a reflection of the reality; given the British forces having become increasingly overwhelmed by IRA activities across Ireland within the last few years.
Among noteworthy clauses of the Treaty were:
In Dublin, Vice-President of the Irish Republic, Arthur Griffith called a
cabinet meeting to discuss the treaty on 8th December, the Vice-President
himself supporting the Treaty as signed. The cabinet decided unanimously to
recommend the Treaty to the Dáil on 14th December.
Author says, much of the material is re-written from the Wikipedia article on the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.