Volume I of the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series is a documentary history of the forging of Irish foreign policy and the Irish diplomatic service, amid the backdrop of a bloody civil war. It begins on 21 January 1919 with the opening of the First Dáil (Parliament) in Dublin and the publication of the Irish Declaration of Independence. It closes on 6 December 1922, the date of the founding of the Irish Free State, one year after the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. The intervening years covered in this volume were turbulent: a bitter political and military clash in Ireland, the British partition of the island into Northern and Southern Ireland in 1920, a negotiated settlement giving Southern Ireland dominion status through the December 1921 Treaty, and the emergence of the Irish Free State amid the violence of a civil war which began in June 1922 and ended in May 1923. These years also saw the birth, near death and re-birth of the Irish Department of External (now Foreign) Affairs, where these foundational documents were written into history. The volume includes previously unseen letters from Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Eamon de Valera; confidential despatches and political reports from Irish diplomats, including accounts of the fundraising activities of Eamon de Valera and Harry Boland in America. It is indispensable to historians of modern Ireland.
Volume II in the Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series concerns the establishment of the Irish Free State as a sovereign, independent state on the international stage. The opening date of the volume, 6 December 1922, marks the establishment of the Irish Free State under the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty. The closing date, 19 March 1926, is that of the Ultimate Financial Agreement between the Irish Free State and Britain. This volume presents the first exclusive account of the Irish government's policy towards the Boundary Commission, the relationship which was to define the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The first steps in the creation of the state are chronicled, including Ireland's admission to the League of Nations and the appointment of Ireland's first overseas envoy, Professor T. A. Smiddy, as Minister Plenipotentiary to the US. Volume II offers close insight into the development of Irish-American relations and the fraught negotiations surrounding the Boundary Commission and its collapse. It is indispensable to historians of Irish foreign policy and the most authoritative record compiled of Ireland's fledgling diplomatic relations.
Volume III of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy explores Ireland's move to secure its standing amongst the nations. Confidential telegrams, secret despatches and personal letters reveal how Ireland protected its interests in an increasingly unstable world system. The Great Depression in the late 1920s and early 1930s lead to fears for Ireland's future as a small state, tensions which are built on in this choice documentation. Volume III charts Ireland's admission in 1930 to the Council of the League of Nations. It presents new dimensions to Anglo-Irish relations, showing how Irish foreign policy developed beyond British interests, which had long dominated Ireland's external affairs. The volume examines the visit of W. T. Cosgrave to the United States and Canada in January 1928, the first overseas visit by an Irish Taoiseach (prime minister). It looks at the run-up to the 1932 Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, the views of Irish diplomats on the collapse of Weimar Germany and challenges such as selling Ireland as a tourist destination and the development of trade with Europe. The picture that emerges in Volume III is of a small nation seeking peace and prosperity across the international system.
All three volumes have wear to covers. Volume I has minor foxing on some pages, with slight tanning to page edges. Pages are clean and bright in both Volumes II and III.