Chapter

Building the Irish nation-state, 1922–72

Katy Hayward

in Irish Nationalism and European Integration

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780719072789
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702369 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719072789.003.0005
Building the Irish nation-state, 1922–72

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The initial focus of official nationalism in the Irish Free State was on the activity of nation-building. The core purpose of nation-building was to unite the nation behind the new state. Consequently, the Irish official nationalism that developed emphasised the points of convergence between republican and constitutional nationalism. These included the roles of intellectual and political elites and a shared conception of the importance of the narrative and cultural identity of the nation. This chapter examines the way in which official nationalism developed from this basis, noting in particular the implications of the subsequent conception of the Irish nation-state for its relations with Northern Ireland, Britain, and the wider international community. It also identifies the processes of state-building that occurred after 1937, in which Northern Ireland and the international context, particularly Europe, again were of immense importance. The chapter concludes by analysing the approach and motivating assumptions of the Irish government towards Northern Ireland and European integration in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Keywords: Irish Free State; nationalism; nation-building; state-building; elites; Northern Ireland; Britain; Europe; European integration; nation-state

Chapter.  9965 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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