- The Irish government had serious financial problems through its continued monetary dependence on Britain and on international monetary forces.
- Ireland was predominantly an agricultural country and farmers' incomes fared badly in the 1920s and 1930s. Agricultural exports were crucial for the economy and politicians depended on the votes of farmers, who generally tend to be socially conservative.
- It was difficult to cope with the Depression of the 1930s and the Economic War with Britain from 1932 to 1938.
- The government came under pressure from trade unions to protect male employment in industry from cheaper female competition. Governments in other countries also dealt with the unemployment problem by reserving certain jobs for men alone.
- Early Irish governments followed a policy of self-sufficiency. They tried not to borrow money abroad and to keep taxes low, thus limiting the amount that could be used to address social issues.
- What were the main consequences of the serious financial problems encountered by the Irish Free State government in the 1920s?
- How did these problems affect Irish women?