In an armed struggle one is often known by the enemies one makes. Opposition determines not simply the prospects but also the arena, the cast, and often much of the scenario. And while all enemies are by rebel definition inherently doomed by history, outwardly potent but inwardly flawed, the foe holds the centre of the stage, has the tangible assets and recognized legitimacy. If not, then no struggle would be needed. Thus the Irish rebels in general and the IRA in particular are in considerable part shaped by their perceptions of the imperial opponent, the United Kingdom, Great Britain, the English, as well as the reality of that enemy. The campaign, the armed struggle is shaped to erode the will of the British, a campaign based on Irish perceptions and analysis. Previous campaigns had deployed varying strategies: Wolfe Tone sought a general rising in conjunction with French aims, the Fenians bombed in Britain and invaded Canada from the United States, and the Irish Volunteers rose at Easter Week 1916 hoping to seize much of the country before Britain, engaged in a great war, could respond. After the establishment of the Irish Free State, recognized by the entry of Eamon De Valera into the Dail, the Republican movement could no longer aspire to more than a limited campaign until the brief moment of intense optimism in 1972. In all cases the British, from 1798 to the end of the twentieth century, remained remarkably stable in Republican analysis. Class-based analysis simply gave other language to perceived oppression, late imperial capitalism little different from Hanoverian monarchy.