Michael Collins Research Paper

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  • Topic: Irish Republican Army, Sinn Féin, Ireland
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Michael Collins Research Paper

“We repudiated the British form of governmen¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬t not because it was m¬onarchi¬cal, but because it was British.” – M¬i¬¬c¬h¬a¬e¬l C¬ollins (25)

In this paper, I intend to illustrate Michael Collin’s brief life: His childhood, his influences, and how and why he helped Ireland achieve its independence. Collins was born in Ireland; an island located west of England. He grew up in the 1890’s: around the time of Thomas Edison and George Gershwin. Around that time, the neighboring England had already been in control over Ireland for more than 700 years, and the people of the Emerald Isle were rebelling against British rule. What was considered a rather happy time for many countries (“The Gay Nineties” in America), was the beginning of a time of great turmoil and conflict for Ireland. Collins was a major figure in the Irish struggle for independence who for nationalistic motives dedicated himself to free Ireland form British control, and to form a new government in which the Irish people and country would prosper.

Michael Collin’s education and childhood had a big effect on his views and skills that came into use later in his life. Collins was born to a young mother and a seventy five year-old father on October 16th 1890, in County Cork, Ireland. He was born the youngest of eight brothers and sisters into a fairly well-off farming family. From a young age, he liked hearing stories of old Ireland, and those stories helped shape his feelings towards the country: They were the first things that made him nationalistic. The stories made him see all the good things about Ireland, admire it, and made him chauvinistic. This patriotism was noticeable from a young age: One of his elementary school teachers once said he had “more than normal interest in things appertaining to the welfare of his country.” His schooling earned him the skills he used later in life: He was a hard worker and good student in general. He was especially good at math, and had excellent observation skills (as also noted by his teachers). These skills helped him fight the British later in his life. After his elementary schooling, Collins moved to the town of Cloankilty and lived there with one of his sisters in-order to continue his education at a higher level. After a short while, he became interested in civil service, in London, and he soon moved again to fulfill his yearnings. He passed his civil service exam in 1906, and served in London until his return to Ireland in 1916. While in London though, he did not become any less nationalistic: His nationalism for Ireland continued to develop, mostly because he joined the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in which members participated in Irish sports and were discouraged from playing British ones. The chauvinistic members of the GAA were not very fond of the British, and their opinions rubbed off on Collins. He was considered an aggressive player, a trait that showed up again when Collins employed his rather violent methods of fighting against the British. England had been in control of Ireland for a long time, and that took its toll on Ireland. Since_______, England has been in command of the Irish people. Over this time, an immense divide had formed in Ireland: many people wanted to get rid of the British, but many others wanted to avoid the fighting and bloodshed, and thought it best for the British to keep ruling. However, this divide dug deeper than that. The majority of the people who wanted to fight the British were Catholics, and the majority of the people who wanted to remain part of the British Empire were Protestant: And most of the Catholics lived in the South, and most of the Protestant lived in the North. So that one simple divide turns out to make a political, geographical, and religious divide. The reason the Catholics wanted to overthrow the British is obvious: As to almost all its colonies, England was not fair to Ireland. It did not give the people a...
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