What Was the Easter Rising and Why Did It Happen?
The Easter Rising was an armed rebellion against the British government which took place in Dublin, Ireland between Monday 24 April and Sunday 29 April, 1916. As a military campaign the Rising was ultimately a failure but it had an important legacy in that the British response to the event turned the majority of the Irish public away from the idea of Home Rule and towards the concept of a fully independent Irish Republic.
It was led by Irish nationalists who wanted to achieve independence for their country. On Easter Monday 1916 they occupied key points in the city, including the General Post Office, and proclaimed the establishment of an Irish Republic. After fierce fighting, the rebels surrendered, and the government executed 15 of the Rising’s leaders, helping to propel Ireland toward national independence while some of the surviving organizers went on to become leaders in the Anglo-Irish War and Civil War that followed.
The rebellion and its leaders have been remembered in varying lights over time; to some, they were Irish heroes and martyrs, to others, they were catalysts of unnecessary violence in a region that knows too well the effects of ethnic conflict. The Easter Rising lasted from Easter Monday 24 April 1916 to Easter Saturday 29 April 1916. Annual commemorations, rather than taking place on 24–29 April, are typically based on the date of Easter, which is a moveable feast.