The Irish Free State (Irish: Saorstát Éireann Irish pronunciation: [sˠiːɾˠsˠˈt̪ˠaːt̪ˠ eːɾʲən̪ˠ]) (6 December 1922 – 1937) was the state established as a dominion under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand.On the day the Irish Free State was established, it comprised the entire island of Ireland, but Northern Ireland almost immediately exercised its right under the treaty to remove itself from the new state.
”MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, We, your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Senators and Commons of Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, having learnt of the passing of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922, being the Act of Parliament for the ratification of the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, do, by this humble Address, pray your Majesty that the powers of the Parliament and Government of the Irish Free State shall no longer extend to Northern Ireland.”
The Irish Free State effectively replaced both the self-proclaimed Irish Republic (founded 21 January 1919) and the Provisional Government of Southern Ireland. W. T. Cosgrave, the first President of the Irish Free State had led both of these “governments” since August 1922.
The Irish Free State came to an end in 1937, when the citizens voted by referendum to replace the 1922 constitution. It was succeeded by the sovereign, modern state of Ireland.