"History is past politics, and politics present history." John Robert Seeley

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see." Winston Churchill

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle


Anglo-Irish Treaty Negotiations 1921

17th October – 6th December 1921

The issues central to the controversy of the negotiations, both personal and political, can be listed as follows:

  • Choice of Delegates
  • Powers of the Sinn Fein Plenipotentiaries
  • ‘External Association’ v. ‘Dominion Status’
  • Partition
  • Role of Dail Eireann

Anglo-Irish Treaty PowerPoint: [gview file=”http://www.historyvault.ie/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Anglo-–-Irish-Treaty-2014.ppt”]


With the offer of a truce & negotiations accepted by Sinn Féin & Dáil Eireann, an official ceasefire began on 11th of July 1921. Now both Dáil Eireann & the British Government began preparations for the negotiations to settle the conflict.


Issues of Contention:

1. Sovereignty – Sinn Féin wanted complete independence, but deValera had already recognised how this would be politically impossible for Britain and had therefore developed the concept of ‘External Association’.

2. Partition – As the Government of Ireland Act (1920) had already established the Northern Ireland State, this issue would be ‘off the table’ as far as the British Government was concerned.

3. Allegiance – Whatever the degree of separation that came about by the end of the Treaty negotiations, Britain was determined that Ireland remain within the sphere of British influence & the British Commonwealth.


Delegations for Negotiation

17th October – 6th December 1921

Sinn Féin Delegation ————————————- British Delegation

Arthur Griffith                                                   Lloyd George

Michael Collins                                                 Winston Churchill

Robert Barton                                                   Austen Chamberlain

Erskine Childers                                                Lord Birkenhead

Issues & Path of Negotiations

‘Draft Treaty A’

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