Ireland—Split in Sinn Féin
Republican separatism traces its origin to the ‘United Irishmen’ movement, inspired by and contemporary with the French revolutionaries of the last decade of the 18th century. Despite—or rather, because of—the changing composition of the class blocs which have adopted it, republicanism has remained British imperialism’s most serious ideological opponent in Ireland ever since. During the National Revolution (1916–23) it was the dominant tendency for long periods, but was finally defeated by the forces of ‘constitutional nationalism’ which installed a régime of the commercial bourgeoisie in the South. These also acceded to the partition of the nation, thereby providing republicanism with a rationale for a further indefinite period.
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