James Connolly was an Irish republican and socialist leader. He opposed British rule in Ireland, and was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916. Connolly described himself as a socialist, while acknowledging the influence of Marx. He is credited with setting the groundwork for Christian socialism in Ireland.
About James Connolly in brief
James Connolly was an Irish republican and socialist leader. He opposed British rule in Ireland, and was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916. He was executed by firing squad following the Rising. Connolly described himself as a socialist, while acknowledging the influence of Marx. He is credited with setting the groundwork for Christian socialism in Ireland. The Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP) is regarded by many Irish historians as a party of pivotal importance in the early history of Irish republicanism and Irish socialism. He left school for working life at the age of 11, and became a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. He joined the British Army at age 14, falsifying his age and giving his name as Reid, as his brother John had done. He served in Ireland with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Scots Regiment for nearly seven years, during a turbulent period in rural areas known as the Land War. After leaving the army, he married Lillie Reynolds and they settled in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1903 he emigrated to the United States with no plans to do what he would do there. He died of a heart attack in New York City on 12 May 1916, aged 48. He had been shot by a firing squad after refusing to surrender to the British government in 1916. His funeral was held at St Patrick’s Roman Catholic parish, in the Cowgate district of Edinburgh known as \”Little Ireland\”. His father and grandfathers were labourers. His parents had moved to Scotland from County Monaghan, Ireland and settled in Cowgate, a ghetto where thousands of Irish people lived.
He became involved in the Scottish Socialist Federation, acting as its secretary from 1895. He briefly established a cobbler’s shop in 1895, but this failed after a few months as his shoe-mending skills were insufficient. He later became involved with the Independent Labour Party which Keir Hardie had formed in 1893. He would later advocate a type of socialism that was based in Marxist theory. He took up the study of, and advocated the use of, the neutral international language, Esperanto. In 1898 he wrote an article titled ‘The Language Movement’ which primarily attempts to promote socialism to the nationalist revolutionaries involved in Gaelic Revival. In the same year he joined the Social Democratic Federation which split from the Labour Party in 1903. He also became the founding editor of The Socialist newspaper and was among the founders of the Social Socialist Party which split in 1903, and joined the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. In 1906 he became the secretary of the Dublin Socialist Club, which quickly evolved into the Irish SocialistRepublican Party. At his club he offered up the instigation, the position of secretary for the ISRP, a position that he took up for a pound a week. The ISRP is considered by many historians to be a pivotal party of early history in the history of the Irish socialism and republicanism. In 1913 he was centrally involved in. the Dublin lock-out of 1913, as a result of which the two men formed the Irish Citizen Army.