factors that contributed to the success of Sinn Fein in the 1918 general election

Topics: Sinn Féin, Easter Rising, Republic of Ireland Pages: 2 (728 words) Published: May 25, 2014
What were the factors that contributed to the success of Sinn Fein in the 1918 general election?

(What were the factors that contributed to the success of Sinn Fein? Firstly, the failure and weakness of their opposition, the Irish parliamentary party. Secondly, the luck and skill of Sinn Fein itself.) = 3

(The 1916 Rising was branded the Sinn Fein Rising by newspapers. This linked inextricably Arthur Griffith’s party, which supported non-violent measures with the rising. This was because Sinn Fein members like Sean McDermott also took part in the rising. Although initially unpopular, after the executions of the leaders, huge sympathy was garnered for those who took part in the rising. Sinn Fein gained widespread popularity on the back of this swell for the Risings participants. The execution of Connolly, who was shot in a chair because he was so badly injured and Plunkett, who married his childhood sweetheart prior to his execution, inspired sympathy especially.) = 8

(In 1918, Lloyd George attempted to introduce conscription in Ireland. This was heavily opposed by all parties and the Church. Eamonn de Valera, now Sinn Fein leader, signed and started a petition against conscription which was signed by two million people. In this way, Sinn Fein gained the credit when the government backed down.) = 5

(Also in 1918 the electorate was expanded to all males over 21 and all females over 30. The created a swathe of new, young voters, radicalised by events since 1916, all enthused by the vibrant leadership of Sinn Fein. Eamonn de Valera, Michael Collins, Cathal Brugha et al, as opposed to the staid IPP. Sinn Fein was an exciting party promising change and abstention, which meant an all Ireland Parliament.) = 6

(The Irish Parliamentary Party was by now seen as a staid, conservative party and very firmly associated with the House of Commons, which had failed to deliver Home Rule. The IPP was led by John Dillon, aged 70, and did not have the glamour...
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