Eamon de Valera
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
De Valera, Eamon(ā`mən dĕ vəlâr`ə), 1882–1975, Irish statesman, b. New York City. He was taken as a child to Ireland. As a young man he joined the movement advocating physical force to achieve Irish independence and took part in the Easter Rebellion of 1916. He was sentenced to life imprisonment (escaping execution because he was a U.S. citizen) but was released under a general amnesty in 1917. Elected that same year a member of Parliament and president of Sinn FéinSinn Féin
[Irish,=we, ourselves], Irish nationalist movement. It had its roots in the Irish cultural revival at the end of the 19th cent. and the growing nationalist disenchantment with the constitutional Home Rule movement.
..... Click the link for more information. , De Valera was arrested again in May, 1918. However, he escaped from prison (Feb., 1919) and went to the United States, where he raised funds for Irish independence. In the meantime he had been elected president of Ireland by the Dáil ÉireannDáil Éireann
[Irish,=diet of Ireland], the popular representative body of the Oireachtas, or National Parliament, of the Republic of Ireland. The second, smaller chamber, the Saenad Éireann, or Senate, has very limited powers, and the executive, as
..... Click the link for more information. , the revolutionary parliament that had declared the country independent. In 1920, when he returned to Ireland, the country was in a state of virtual war against British rule. In 1921 the British government opened the negotiations that led to the establishment of the Irish Free State. De Valera, however, repudiated the final treaty because it excluded Northern Ireland and required Irish officeholders to swear allegiance to the British crown. He resigned from the Dáil in Jan., 1922. Nominal leader of the republican intransigents, De Valera greatly deplored the period of civil war that followed. He maintained his opposition to the government, however, and did not enter the Dáil with his party, Fianna FáilFianna Fáil
, Irish political party, organized in 1926 by opponents of the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 establishing the Irish Free State and setting up Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.
..... Click the link for more information. , until 1927. In the general election of 1932 his party gained control of the Dáil, and De Valera became head of the government. He immediately abolished the oath of allegiance and refused to pay land annuities to Britain. A tariff war followed that was not ended until 1938. In 1937, De Valera introduced a new constitution declaring Ireland a fully sovereign state. He kept Ireland neutral throughout World War II, refusing to let the British use southern Irish ports and vigorously protesting Allied military activity in Northern Ireland. Fianna Fáil was defeated in the election of 1948, but De Valera returned as prime minister with independent support (1951–54) and with an absolute majority (1957–59). Hampered by failing vision, in 1959 he moved to the less demanding office of president of the republic, to which he was reelected in 1966. He retired in 1973.
See his speeches edited by M. Moynihan (1980); biographies by F. P. Longford and T. P. O'Neill (1971), O. Edwards (1988); C. Younger, A State of Disunion (1972); J. O'Carroll and J. Murphy ed., De Valera and His Times (1986).
Valera, Eamon de:see De Valera, EamonDe Valera, Eamon
, 1882–1975, Irish statesman, b. New York City. He was taken as a child to Ireland. As a young man he joined the movement advocating physical force to achieve Irish independence and took part in the Easter Rebellion of 1916.
..... Click the link for more information. .
De Valera, Eamon
Born Oct. 14, 1882, in New York. Irish politician and statesman. One of the leaders of the Irish Uprising of 1916.
In 1917, De Valera headed the Sinn Fein and the patriotic military organization the Irish Volunteers. From 1919 to 1922 he was president and head of the government that won national independence for Ireland. During the civil war (1922-23) he commanded the republican troops against the supporters of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, under which Northern Ireland remained under British rule and the remainder of the country was proclaimed a British dominion.
In 1927, after breaking with the Sinn Fein, De Valera entered the parliament of the dominion as a candidate of the Fianna Fail, which he had founded in 1926. As head of the Irish government and foreign minister from 1932 to 1948, De Valera pursued policies that promoted economic development and reduced Irish dependence on British monopolies. At the same time, his policies tended to suppress democratic freedoms within the country. During World War II the De Valera government proclaimed its neutrality. De Valera was prime minister of the Irish Republic from 1951 to 1954 and from 1957 to 1959. His policies were aimed at actively drawing foreign capital into the national economy and at the same time remaining nonaligned with military-political blocs. De Valera was president of the Irish Republic between 1959 and 1973.
A. G. BOTOV