Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Advisor

Silvestri, Michael

Committee Member

Barczewski , Stephanie

Committee Member

Anderson , Paul C

Abstract

Although the Irish Free State had close relations and connections to the United Kingdom from its inception in 1922, Eire pursued a policy of neutrality throughout the Second World War. Although the majority of the Irish population supported neutrality, it attracted much criticism in Britain and America. The aim of this study is to explore Irish men and women's experience with neutrality alongside how American newspapers as well as American war correspondents based in Britain addressed and viewed Ireland's neutrality. In many ways, the Irish benefited from the policy of neutrality and the small nation was united on a level it never had been before. However, war correspondents coming from the warzone of Britain and visiting peaceful Ireland were highly critical of neutrality, viewing the Irish as standing by while the British fought for their freedom. Comparatively, American newspapers gave a more objective view of Eire, but their coverage turned much more critical once the United States entered the war. Ultimately, this examination will enrich the historiography on Ireland and the Second World War by illuminating the development of these varying perspectives on Irish neutrality and how they evolved.

Included in

History Commons

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