Easter Rising

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The Easter Rising was an Irish rebellion for independence from British control, which took place April 24 to 30, 1916 during World War I. The Irish were in league with the Germans, and the British cracked down hard to smash the poorly organized revolt. In response the Irish people moved from moderation and demands for more home rule, to a determination to fight for independence.

The Irish insurgents captured key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic. The British suppressed this and executed all of its leaders with the exception of Éamon de Valera, who was a US citizen when Britain wanted the US to enter World War I, and a woman whose life was spared on account of her sex. The Easter Rising was led by Pádraig Pearse of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the socialist James Connolly of the Irish Citizen Army, who was executed by the British while tied to a chair in Kilmainham Gaol courtyard on May 12, 1916. The other five leaders of the seven-member executive were Seán Mac Diarmada, Tom Clarke, Éamonn Ceannt, Joseph Mary Plunkett and Thomas MacDonagh. Pearse surrendered on behalf of all insurgents in order to spare further loss of life, although he knew that he himself would be executed.