In its conception Eamon de Valera’s mission to America in 1919-20 dovetailed perfectly with the two principal goals of the separatist movement.
The first goal was the creation of an underground state consistent with Arthur Griffith’s plan for the Sinn Féin movement, as articulated at the time of its creation. This underground state would be parallel to the British administration and could also be presented to the world as having supplanted it. The second goal was international recognition of the independent and republican nature of that state. This second goal came nowhere close to being realised, and much of the money raised to further the first goal never made it back to Ireland. To understand why these things happened, we need to consider many factors, starting with the circumstances in which the trip began.