Thesis

Remembering rebels: Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera from 1916-2017.

Thesis (M.A., History (Public History))--California State University, Sacramento, 2018.

Commemoration and the development of national memory is an increasingly important and expanding field in history. As globalization and other forces break down national barriers, people search for ways to differentiate themselves, and are increasingly turning to memory and national consciousness to do so. Amongst the Irish people, this is particularly important because they have a national memory that is unique in that it addresses the entirety of their country’s history, which does not yet encompass one hundred years. As we approach the one-hundred year mark of some events and pass the one hundred year mark for others, national memory is becoming increasingly important to various groups, including government forces, political groups, and even private citizens. In an attempt to suggest where the national memory of Ireland will go, the best route is to explore where it has already gone. An examination of two of the most popular and controversial figures in the Irish national memory shows how groups have attempted to integrate them into a shifting political landscape. This offers historians the opportunity to see where these figures fit in currently and where they might fit in again in the future. Recent documentaries, freshly released primary sources and changes in historiography all 
 offer the opportunity to see how information has been twisted and changed to fit people into a narrative.

Commemoration and the development of national memory is an increasingly important and expanding field in history. As globalization and other forces break down national barriers, people search for ways to differentiate themselves, and are increasingly turning to memory and national consciousness to do so. Amongst the Irish people, this is particularly important because they have a national memory that is unique in that it addresses the entirety of their country’s history, which does not yet encompass one hundred years. As we approach the one-hundred year mark of some events and pass the one hundred year mark for others, national memory is becoming increasingly important to various groups, including government forces, political groups, and even private citizens. In an attempt to suggest where the national memory of Ireland will go, the best route is to explore where it has already gone. An examination of two of the most popular and controversial figures in the Irish national memory shows how groups have attempted to integrate them into a shifting political landscape. This offers historians the opportunity to see where these figures fit in currently and where they might fit in again in the future. Recent documentaries, freshly released primary sources and changes in historiography all offer the opportunity to see how information has been twisted and changed to fit people into a narrative.

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