At face value Source 1 and Source 3 appear to agree with each other in suggesting that the reaction to the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty was negative. Source 3 suggests that the Irish would oppose the Treaty because of a loss of ‘national honour’, whilst Source 1 believes, correctly as later events showed, that by signing the Treaty he has signed his ‘death warrant’. From this it can be inferred that there is substantial opposition to the Treaty and that the reaction is not a positive one. However, Source 1 can also be used to counter Source 3’s argument that the Treaty is not welcome by his suggestion that this is something that the Irish have wanted for a long time. As Source 1 is written by one of the Irish architects of the agreement in what appears to be a private letter, it may be viewed as having a clear insight into what is going on. Source 2 contrasts very strongly with Source 1 and Source 3 in its suggestion that the Irish are extremely positive in their view of the Treaty. It disagrees with Source 3 on how the Irish perceive membership of the Empire. It suggests that the Irish feel a clear sense of loyalty to Britain and the Empire, an opinion clearly at odds with the view of Source 3. Although Source 1 and Source 2 might be said to agree insofar as they both suggest that this is something that the Irish have wanted for some time, the degree of enthusiasm expressed is very different. In examining Source 2 and Source 3 candidates should be expected to note that both are political speeches and to consider the impact this will have on the content of what is said; this should be weighed in the judgments they reach about the sources.
Source 1 portrays slightly conflicting views as although Collins feels by signing the treaty, he has given Ireland ‘something which she has wanted these past seven hundred years’, he also feels by signing the treaty, he had ‘signed [his] death warrant’. The use of the words ‘death warrant’ explicitly demonstrates the universal opposition to this treaty by the Irish. Furthermore, with Collins questioning the levels of satisfaction this treaty would display amongst the Irish by stating ‘Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain?’ portrays the doubtful feeling Collins himself had in relations of the consequences of the treaty. Moreover, the use of the word ‘bargain’ evidently shows that this treaty was a desperate settlement which neglected the higher expectations of the Irish in order to settle for something of much lesser importance to the Irish. This is also suggested in Source 3 as De Valera has stated that this treaty ‘will not end the centuries of conflict between…Britain and Ireland’, portraying the clear opposition of the Irish and Eamon de Valera himself as he stood firmly ‘against this treaty’. On the other hand, Source 1 believes that this treaty has given Ireland ‘something which she has wanted these past seven hundred years’ which suggests that Irish should be contented. However this opinion is contradicted in Source 3 as De Valera states that the ‘Irish people would not want [him] to save them materially at the expense of their national honour’, portraying the opinion that there was Irish opposition to the treaty as the treaty put their national