Ireland’s Allies: America and the 1916 Rising


Ireland’s Allies
America and the 1916 Easter Rising


Edited by Miriam Nyhan Grey

Foreword by J. J. Lee



  • A unique study of America’s role in Ireland’s 1916 revolutionary period.
  • Contributors are historians from both sides of the Atlantic, giving the volume a range of different perspectives.
  • Illustrated with compelling images of the period.


During the Easter of 1916, in the middle of the war in Europe, a rebellion took place in Ireland that sowed the seeds for the establishment of an Irish state independent of Britain. A seminal event in Irish history – the equivalent of America’s 4 July – the Easter Rising had significant implications for other imperial relationships. By invoking the spirit of her 2.3 million ‘exiled children in America’, the rebels in Dublin proclaimed a new Republic one of whose role-models was the United States of America. As the Allies increasingly sought American support, Anglo-American relations were pressed on the Irish question and on Britain’s role in determining the fate of her small nation neighbour.


Renowned historian J. J. Lee has observed, ‘No America, no New York, no Easter Rising. Simple as that.’ Ireland’s Allies: America and the 1916 Easter Rising interrogates that assertion by placing the Rising in a transnational and transatlantic setting, thereby making a new contribution to the historiography of modern Ireland, to our understanding of ethnic allegiances in neutral America, and to the mechanics of revolutionary networks and diaspora nationalism. Irish cultural and political nationalists had worked assiduously for years to mobilise American opinion against the British presence in Ireland. Indeed, the United States of America provided an important post-colonial republican model and the Irish were cognisant of that revolutionary legacy.


Twenty-four scholars, from a variety of disciplines and including a foreword by Joe Lee, excavate the ways in which the United States was a critical theatre of war in Ireland’s journey towards independence. It is the first work to assess the range and depth of American interest in self-government for Ireland in the two decades preceding the Rising and the first to contextualise the actions and motives of hitherto overlooked American-based individuals and organisations that made up a dynamic nationalist landscape abroad.


Readership: Readers interested in the 1916 revolutionary period, Irish History, Irish-American history and the history of New York.



J. Lee is Director of Glucksman Ireland House NYU where he has also been Glucksman Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of History since 2002. He has taught in Ireland, Britain, continental Europe, and the United States and is the author of numerous books, articles, and reviews, including the prize-winning Ireland, 1912–1985: Politics and Society (Dublin, 1989), now in its eleventh reprint.


Miriam Nyhan Grey is Associate Director of Glucksman Ireland House NYU where she is also Director of Graduate Studies for the Masters in Irish and Irish-American Studies. A graduate of University College Cork (NUI) and the European University Institute, she has been largely based at New York University since 2006.



University College Dublin Press




€40 £30 $45




247 x 180 mm


400 pp


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