De Valera, Eamon (1882–1975)
William H. Mulligan, Jr.
Study of History
1000 - 1999
colonialism, imperialism, inequality, nationalism, revolution
Eamon de Valera, the highest-ranking survivor of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, played a leading role in Irish political life from 1916 through 1959. More than any other figure, he shaped the nature of independent Ireland's social and economic life. De Valera was arrested in 1916 for his involvement in the Irish Easter Rising. He was tried and sentenced to death, but the sentence was quickly commuted, mainly because of the fact that de Valera was born in America. A year later an amnesty was passed and de Valera and the others arrested in connection with the Easter Rising were freed. (Irish Embassy, Paris, France, Archives Charmet/The Bridgeman Art Library) Eamon de Valera was born in New York City on October 14, 1882. His father, Juan Vivion de Valera, of Spanish ancestry, played little if any role in his life. His mother, Kate Coll, sent him home to Ireland in 1885 where he was raised by an uncle in Bruree, County Limerick. Little is known with certainty about his brief time in New York, his father, or his parents' exact relationship. During his political career much innuendo and speculation circulated about his early life – little of which was based on documented facts – and that has continued after his death as historians assess his life and contribution to Ireland. De Valera was educated at the Bruree National School and then, as a scholarship student, first at Blackrock ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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