- historical event: The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 concluded the Irish War of Independence and led to the establishment of the Irish Free State. The whole agreement was so controversial that, after the signing, a civil war between supporters and opponents of the Treaty broke out in Ireland.
On this day in 1921, Irish and British politicians signed the Treaty on the independence of Ireland. This Anglo-Irish Treaty concluded the Irish War of Independence and led to the establishment of the Irish Free State, which was formed exactly one year after the signing of this Treaty.
The document was agreed by delegations of the two opposing sides. Representatives of the British government were, among others:
– Prime Minister David Lloyd George
– Lord Birkenhead (then Lord Chancellor)
– Winston Churchill (then Secretary of State for the Colonies)
– Austen Chamberlain (then leader of the parliamentary majority in the House of Commons)
Ireland was represented by, among others:
– Arthur Griffith (founder of Sinn Féin)
– Michael Collins (senior leader of the IRA)
The whole agreement was so controversial that, after the signing, a civil war between supporters and opponents of the Treaty broke out in Ireland. It is interesting that upon signing the treaty, the Englishman Lord Birkenhead reportedly said: “Mister Collins, in signing this Treaty I’m signing my political death warrant”, to which Collins supposedly replied, “Lord Birkenhead, I’m signing my actual death warrant.”. And indeed, already the following year, Collins was killed by his anti-Treaty countrymen.