December 6, 1921 marks the 90th anniversary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the agreement between the British government and representatives of secessionist Ireland which ended the Irish War of Independence. Among the Treaty’s main clauses were that: British forces would withdraw from most of Ireland and that Ireland was to become a self-governing dominion of the British Empire.
Threefold ratification of the treaty by Dáil Éireann, the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and the British Parliament was required. The Irish side was split on the Treaty, and it was only narrowly ratified in the Dáil. Though the treaty was duly enacted, the split led to the Irish Civil War, which was ultimately won by the pro-treaty side.