This pioneering collection focuses on the politics and economics of the island of Ireland in the aftermath of the struggle for Independence Overturns traditional thinking on the formation of the Irish state, the birth of democracy and national identity in modern Ireland Fascinating studies of the Shannon hydro-electric scheme, Free State election posters and the birth of the Senate In the aftermath of the Great War, Europe's empires crumbled and a patchwork of new nation states emerged across the continent. As the map of Europe was being redrawn after 1918, Ireland too stood on the threshold of great change. The 1920s were a formative decade for Ireland, both north and south of the border, but is all too often dismissed as one of stagnation. In contract, the contributors to this timely collection provide a refreshingly alternative view of such events as the Shannon hydro-electric scheme, the workings of the Church of Ireland and of the Senate - all serving to reignite the debate about how modern Ireland was defined and how statehood collided with national identities and allegiances. The relationship between policy and the emerging state is also explored in chapters focusing on Free State election posters, loyalty and treason, the 1923 Land Act, the Irish Farmers' Party and parliamentary democracy. Other dynamic contributions look at how economic policy shaped the lives of ordinary Irish citizens and continue to have an impact today, long after Ireland won her struggle for independence.