The volunteers attacked government property, carried out raids for desperately needed weapons and funds and, to disrupt the British administration, assassinated prominent individuals. Their most significant single target was the Royal Irish Constabulary. The force was the eyes and ears of Dublin Castle and had the prime responsibility for maintaining law and order. Its members were vulnerable, increasingly unpopular in Ireland, and the best available source of arms. The civilian population was at first shocked by the IRA`s actions but rapidly came to support them out of patriotic sentiment and because of the repressive nature of the British government’s response.
The Civil War was caused by mounting conflicting pressures, principles, and prejudices, fueled by differences and pride, and set into motion by unlikely set of political events.
However it was not going to be that simple - those who had been outvoted in the Dail were not prepared to simply accept the rule of a Dail which had supported what they regarded as a 'treacherous' treaty. In April 1922, the anti-treaty IRA seized control of the Dublin Four-Courts and other key buildings. The situation grew very tense as the new Irish government tried to mediate with the IRA. However, the government quickly lost its patience and in June Michael Collins ordered the Irish Army to shell the Four-Courts. He succeeded in driving the IRA out of Dublin but had also triggered the Irish Civil War. The fire which the Irish Army started in the Four-Courts destroyed many priceless historic documents, including all of Ireland's accumulated census data. This makes the job of genealogists today much more difficult.
The war went on for almost a year, and was particularly intensive in Connaught and Munster. It was basically a guerilla war, involving sniper attacks, ambushes and raids. Slowly but surely the Army drove the IRA into the mountains and, as the fighting continued to disrupt local life, the IRA lost the support of the locals on which it relied. Therefore the IRA finally called a halt to its campaign in April 1923. Among the casualties of the Civil War was Michael Collins, who was shot dead in an ambush in his native county Cork. Arthur Griffith, the Prime Minister of the Free State, died of natural causes during the war.
By the 20th century, a predominantly Catholic nationalism had become a potent force in Irish politics. Britain's unwillingness to agree to nationalist demands led to the Irish War of Independence, and later the Irish Civil War.
Had the First World War not started which caused the suspension of the
home rule bill until the end of the war the situation without doubt
would have lead to full civil war between Unionists and Nationalists.
The Anglo-Irish war, 21st January 1919–11th July 1921 was initiated by a small number of young, determined Irish Volunteers, known from August 1919 as the Irish Republican Army (IRA). They were convinced that a republic could only be gained by force. Some had been preparing for action since shortly after the Easter Rising. From necessity, they adopted a guerrilla campaign. A conventional war of large-scale open conflict was not feasible, given their lack of men, training and arms. They were organised initially into numerous small, fragmented, fiercely independent units who, acting on their own initiative, launched frequent low-level surprise attacks. They then melted back into the civilian population.
Civil war is said to be the second worst kind of war (under world war) because it is when a country fights against itself and unfortunately, this was the case in England.
The Civil War was such a bloodbath because the technological advances were so far superior to the tactics of the infantry, that the weapons virtually obliterated the soldiers.
Religion and the British Civil Wars, also known as the War of the Three Kingdoms or the English Revolution, are inextricably interconnected: it is impossible to understand the causes and course of the English Revolution and exclude religion. Once the Long Parliament committed itself to the reformation of the Church of England, the question remained of what shape this reform should take. Competing visions of church-government or ecclesiologies, such as Presbyterianism, Congregationalism, and Erastianism, dominated debate within the halls of Parliament. However, the breakdown of state-controlled religious conformity released an explosion of new and often radical sects. These radical denominations, which included Ranters, Baptists, Diggers, Levellers, and Quakers, played a prominent role in both political and religious considerations of the Revolution. Furthermore, debates on national religious settlement favoring one church government over another were also complicated by the appearance of an initially minor, but sustained and increasingly important, transatlantic conversation over liberty of conscience. The centrality of religion was recognized, to a degree, in the 19th century, with Samuel Rawson Gardiner terming the English Revolution as the Puritan Revolution. Until comparatively recently, however, the religious factors in the Revolution tended to be downplayed or explained away in nonreligious terms. Recent historiography has renewed interest in the religious dimensions of the English Revolution, an interest that has been shaped by a reconceptualization and redefinition of the meanings of religious belief for ordinary men and women in the 17th century. It is now almost universally agreed upon by historians of the English Revolution that the civil wars between the three kingdoms of the British monarchy—England, Scotland, and Ireland—erupted principally over differing visions of national church-government. Despite being a relatively recent intervention in the scholarship, the literature on religion in the English Revolution is vast, and it continues to provide fertile ground for research and debate. With such breadth of scholarship, the focus of this bibliography must necessarily be truncated and selective. Nevertheless, many of the works included in this article are intended to give the researcher an overview not only of religious history in England in the 1640s and 1650s, but also of the other components of the British monarchy, including not just Scotland and Ireland but also the Atlantic colonies of the nascent British Empire.
The inclination to depict the Civil War in this glorified manner strengthened over time until the process of converting the Civil War from hell on earth to a sacred cause systematically destroyed the anguish that the war created....
A collection of essays by Morrill subdivided into three thematic sections: the importance of localism during the Civil Wars, the centrality of religion to the conflict, and a push to see the English Revolution from a British point of view. His essay titled “The Religious Context of the English Civil War” famously claimed that the English Civil War was “the last of Europe’s wars of religion” (pp. 45–68).