Westminster - Koala99 - cc

Treaty of Westminster

Westminster - Koala99 - cc

The Statute of Westminter (December 11, 1931) is a text recognizing the independence of all the dominions of the British Empire, of which the Free State was formerly a part. The Statute of Westminster also gave the status of a free, autonomous and independent country to Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa.

History of the Treaty of Westminster


For several centuries Ireland and England had already had a very difficult and conflictual relationship. At issue was England’s colonialist will over Ireland, its desire to impose its politics, language and religion on it, to the detriment of Irish mores.

Over the centuries, and with violent confrontations resulting mostly in failures on the Irish side, Ireland eventually entered a War for the Independence of the island in 1919. Very quickly, things speed up, and the Irish desire for independence won the day with the signing of the Treaty of London (December 21, 1921), which authorizes the creation of a Free State of Ireland …

However, this text places the Irish Free State under the Statute of Dominion, thus obliging Ireland to pledge allegiance to the Crown of England, and also to concede Northern Ireland to the official property of the British Empire. This agreement was not to the liking of some Irish people, who ended up facing the followers of the Treaty during the Irish Civil War (1922/1924).

At the end of the war, the Irish Free State did not move an inch, nor did Northern Ireland. Both are still subject to British influence, although the Free State is no longer considered a dominion.

The Statute of Westminster puts an end to centuries of British interference

December 11, 1931 is the fateful date which finally signs the full independence of the Irish Free State, and crowns it once and for all under the name of “Republic of Ireland”. This is a considerable step in the life of the Irish people: they are now free from British interference, and can carry out an autonomous cultural and religious policy, without seeing England interfering.

Nevertheless, the Statute of Westminster did not return Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, leaving the North under British management, through a dominion status.