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Irish Treaty

In 1921, during the historic negotiations over the Irish question, F. E. Smith -- one of the leading figures on the British side -- negotiated a compromise with Michael Collins leading to the establishment of the Irish Free State while allowing for Ulster to remain under British control.

Not surprisingly, the agreement encountered opposition in Britain. "I may have signed my political death warrant tonight," Smith observed, signing the treaty. "I," Michael Collins replied, "may have signed my actual death warrant."

[Sure enough Collins was assassinated eight months later by republican extremists.]

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