Term of Award

Summer 2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of History

Committee Chair

Michelle Haberland

Committee Member 1

Howard Keeley

Committee Member 2

James Woods


This thesis will observe Foucauldian trends in Irish revolutionary history. Michel Foucault is a French social theorist who discerned the power dynamic in specific relationships. Foucault studied specific institutions such as prisons and insane asylums to view the relationship of power that existed between ‘inmate’ and ‘guard.’ Notable Irish figures and organizations that will be examined through this lens are the Gaelic Athletic Association, Patrick Pearse, St. Enda’s school, and Michael Collins. This thesis will monitor the use of institutions, masculinity, control of information, discipline, and most notably the epistemic shift, in an effort to better explain Irish history during the revolutionary period (1884-1920). Many of the techniques previously described were employed by the English government through what was known as ‘constructive unionism.’ This included a gentler approach in regards to the English/Irish relationship. This approach included, but was not limited to; the establishment of state sponsored schools in Ireland, partial political autonomy, and relaxed religious freedoms. This model of control in Ireland was a subtle attempt at dissolving Irish culture and amalgamating the Irish people into the British Empire. The Irish took this system and employed it for their own purposes. Through the use of nationalist institutions such as the Gaelic Athletic Association, the Irish were able to create a country ripe for revolution and ready to support themselves independent of the British government.

Research Data and Supplementary Material