The political and military dimensions of the struggle for Irish independence had distinct points of origin.
Prior to 21 January 1919 they had developed along different paths, sometimes converging, at others diverging. It was inevitable, therefore, that the relationship after that date would continue to evolve. As both the War of Independence and the underground state sponsored by the Dáil progressed, both were subject to ongoing and increasingly harsh British countermeasures. While the distinction was at times vague, it is useful to distinguish both between matters of the loyalty and control of the republican military forces, and between theory and practice in both areas.