Sample essay on Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement

Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement

The Anglo-Irish trade agreement of 1932 to 1938 was very significant. It is a war that eventually enhanced the irish economy. The agreement involved a very interesting episode of defaulting intergovernmental debts, immense retaliation in the trade sphere that later escalated into a full blown trade war. The final result of the trade agreement was a clear settlement that also implied the success of a defaulting nation.

The Anglo-Irish trade agreement was a major dispute that saw the Irish people become successful in a battle that the government thought it would win. The interwar on Irish economy also demonstrated the effects of the war on income distribution and Irish economy.

The course of Anglo-Irish Trade Agreement

In March 1932, a popular party of Eamonn de Valera’s Fianna came into power in the Irish Free State. While in power, it had many obligations and one of its new acts was to suspend all payments of land annuities to Britain.

The obligations arose because of the compulsory sale of land in the region. Most of the land was sold to Irish tenant farmers under different land acts. The total amount collected from annual payments, specifically pensions and sale of land amounted to 5million pounds a year.

The amount collected compares to with a GNP of 150million pounds a year. This was a financial burden to exceed per capita in association with German war reparations.

In 1932, the British government also imposed levies on the cattle exports from the Irish people. This was a step aimed at recovering land annuities. A duty of 20percent was imposed on Irish Cattle. The same percentage was also imposed on all agricultural exports to the United Kingdom.

Due to these duties, Britain decided to protect its agricultural economy. It was worsening by the day bearing in mind that the world was experiencing the Great Depression. Britain also had to impose restrictions on veal to the UK and Irish Beef. Ireland reacted to this by imposing its own duties on all imports from Britain. This is because it could not turn to European court of justice for assistance.


By 1936, things in Ireland had reached a crucial state. The country felt the economic impact of the Anglo-Irish economic war. Industrial exports declined because it was very expensive to export different products and services. Cattle exports also declined tremendously.

By 1934, there was reduction in farm incomes and it affected other sectors of the economy. Anglo-Irish trade agreement therefore had to be resolved. It had disastrous effects on the economy as well as Irish exports.

In 1935, important steps were taken with the Cattle-Coal Pact. Restrictive quotes had to be agreed on and were raised by 33percent in return for importation of coal from different British coalmines by the Irish government.

By 1938, the Anglo-Irish trade agreement played a crucial role in restoring Irish trade relations back to normal. However, Irish government had to pay £10,000,000 to British Exchequer. It was a large and costly penalty because of De Valeras fault. In addition, both countries, Britain and Irish had to sensibly get rid of different emergency duties.

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