The Irish War of Independence, also known as the Anglo-Irish War, was a guerrilla war fought between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the British Army from 1919 to 1921. The war resulted in the establishment of the Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Empire.
The Irish War of Independence had its roots in the centuries-long struggle for Irish independence from British rule. In the 19th century, the Irish nationalist movement gained momentum, and in 1916, the Easter Rising took place. The rising was a failure, but it helped to galvanize Irish public opinion against British rule.
In 1918, the British government passed the Government of Ireland Act, which would have created two self-governing regions within Ireland. However, the Irish nationalists rejected the act, and the IRA was formed to fight for complete independence.
The Irish War of Independence began in January 1919 with a series of attacks by the IRA on British military and police targets. The British responded with a campaign of reprisals, which only served to further alienate the Irish population.
The war was fought in a guerrilla style, with the IRA using hit-and-run tactics to attack British forces. The British responded with large-scale military operations, but they were unable to suppress the IRA.
In 1920, the British government passed the Government of Ireland Act, which would have partitioned Ireland into two separate states: a predominantly Catholic state in the south and a predominantly Protestant state in the north. The IRA rejected the act, and the war continued.
In 1921, the British government and the IRA agreed to a truce. The truce led to negotiations, which resulted in the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921. The treaty established the Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Empire.
The Irish War of Independence had a profound impact on Ireland. The war led to the establishment of the Irish Free State, which was the first step towards full independence. The war also left a legacy of violence and division, which would continue to plague Ireland for decades to come.