The plan to seek international recognition of an independent Irish Republic was the cornerstone of the strategy pursued by the First Dáil.
It marked a radical departure from the insurrectionary tradition, which sought to achieve such independence by military means. It was also a departure from the original policy of Sinn Féin. Using the precedent supplied by Hungarian separation from Austrian domination, this original policy had prioritised domestic political action and the progressive building-up of the structures of statehood from within. By these means Sinn Féin had intended to separate from Britain but not to completely repudiate the Crown.
The change in approach was a direct response to the realisation that the military failure of the 1916 Rising precluded any repetition in the near future. In addition, the continuation of the First World War had opened up new possibilities not just for Ireland but for the many other nationalities in central and eastern Europe who were seeking freedom from control by imperial powers.