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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Following defeat in the civil war of 1922–23, Irish republicans formed a new political party, Fianna Fáil, in 1926. By 1932, Fianna Fáil, under the leadership of Eamon de Valera, achieved power and remained in office from 1932 to1948 and from 1957 to 1973, being temporarily replaced by coalition governments between 1948–51 and 1954–57. De Valera remained leader of the party until 1959. This article assesses the impact of Fianna Fáil’s domination during these decades; the enduring personal appeal of de Valera, the efforts to increase the sovereignty of the state, and the significance of domestic and foreign policy initiatives, including neutrality during the Second World War. It also examines social and economic issues and conditions, censorship, the moral climate, the impact of the 1937 constitution, emigration, class and gender tensions, and the successes and failures of Irish governance during this formative period for the southern Irish state.

Keywords: De Valera, Fianna Fáil, sovereignty, Constitution, Social Conditions

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