James Connolly’s decision to join in open physical revolt came from aninherent practicality of the sitution at hand. Connolly, himself stated,‘Internationalism of the future will be based upon the free federation, free peoples andcannot be realised through the subjugation of the smaller, by the larger political unit’.
Ellis interprets this from Connolly as Connolly’s understanding of social and nationalfreedom being entwined and not separate. It appears Connolly still held his feverentsocialistic beliefs but understood the pragmatic option to unite with the IRB militarycouncil.
Connolly’s reasons for staging the rising were formulated from a desire tocreate a republic in order to establish a socialist state. Confusion to Connolly’sinvolvement in the rising has been felt due to his socialistic nature. Examples of suchcan be seen in the Labour Party MP Tom Johnsons’ journal entry from the 6th of May, 1916, ‘it is all a mystery to me.’ But as Ellis has already explained, his role in1916 was he logical progression of his life’s works and teachings that had clearly been in print in articles and books during the twenty years before the event.These can be found in Connolly’s own works such as ‘Socialism and Nationalism’. A further piece of evidence of Connolly’s desire to relinquish British political control of Ireland by force comes from Connolly’s intention to stage a risingsolely with the ICA in January in 1916.
He is reported to have said to JJ Bourke that‘the citizen army would move within a week on it’s own and under his leadership.’
These intentions of Connolly to act solely with the megre strength of the ICAshows his conviction to the cause of staging a rising. Connolly’s only decision towithdraw from this plan came from being informed of the IRB’s military council’s plans to rise at Easter. Connolly understood the probability of staging a successful
Ellis, e at James Connolly.
Tim Pat Coogan,
(Dublin 1991) p 34.
James Connolly, A Full Life,
(London 2005) p 628.