North Ireland Conflict Essay

This essay has a total of 1246 words and 6 pages.

North Ireland Conflict


Political Unrest in Ireland
There has been a continuing conflict in Ireland that has been going on for decades, and
affects the world to this day. It is essentially a political and religious struggle
between several groups. The British have played a key role in the situation since the
early 1900's, and even more distant into the past.

Origins of the Conflict
The conflict in Ireland has its roots as far back as the 1500's. Ireland has historically
been recognized as a Catholic country. However, when King Henry VIII was ruling in
Britain, Ireland was brought under British control. At the time, Britain was predominantly
a Protestant country. Tension between the Catholic majority and Protestant minority began
to arise in the two faiths. Throughout the years the British and Protestants began to
tighten their grip and control in Ireland. In 1534 Henry VIII had the Ireland parliament
declare himself as King of Ireland. The native Irish viewed the British as a major threat
to their customs. There have been multiple uprisings and rebellions by the Irish people
against the British. A British and Spanish alliance was able to put to rest all of the
major uprisings.

The English began to settle areas of Ireland with Protestants, beginning in the early
1600's. The northern regions of Ireland became one of the more heavily immigrated areas.
The all-island Kingdom of Ireland (1541-1801) was incorporated into the United Kingdom in
1801 under the terms of the Act of Union, under which the kingdoms of Ireland and Great
Britain merged under a central parliament, government and monarchy based in London. In the
early 20th century Unionists, led by Sir Edward Carson, opposed

the introduction of Home Rule in Ireland. Unionists were in a minority on the island of
Ireland as a whole, but formed a majority in the northern province of Ulster
(en.wikipedia.org/Northern_Ireland).


Involved Groups and Peoples
The two major groups involved are the Protestants and the Catholics. The Protestants have
their roots back to the British who migrated to the region when King Henry VIII was in
power. The Protestants are predominantly Unionists. Unionists are "people in Ireland,
Scotland, and Wales who were historically in favor of uniting their nations into a United
Kingdom, or who in modern times with their nation to remain a part of the United Kingdom
(www.wikipedia.com). The Protestants are the majority inhabitants of Northern Ireland
today. The Catholics are predominantly known as Nationalists, and are descendants of the
Irish population predating the settlement of the English and Scottish. There are various
paramilitary groups which have sprung up in Ireland throughout the twentieth century, and
even earlier. The group which has become recognized as a major player in the politics of
Ireland is the Irish Republican Army. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) pushes for a unified
Irish state, with no ties to the United Kingdom and the British. There are several groups
who claim to be descendants of the original IRA. The IRA first formed in 1916 as the army
of the Irish Republic. It was descended from Irish volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army.




The Conflict in the 20th Century
There have been many situations and conflicts which have arisen in the twentieth century
in Ireland. On Easter Monday 1916, Irish rebels took over several key Dublin buildings
including the General Post Office, sparking a brief outbreak of violence throughout
Dublin. The English quickly crushed the rebellion but unfortunately caused many civilian
casualties in the process (Earthy Family). Between the years 1916 and 1921 Irish
nationalists waged a combined political and military campaign against British occupation.
The biggest change in Ireland, with the biggest impact on today's world, occurred in 1921.
This was a time when World War I had just ended. Ireland was partitioned by the British
under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act of 1920. Six of the counties in Northern
Ireland, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, were split from Ireland and
became Northern Ireland, while the rest of Ireland became the Republic of Ireland. The
south remained predominantly Catholic while the new Northern Ireland had a Protestant
majority. The south had cut all ties with Britain, wishing to remain an independent
country. The new Northern Ireland continued to be a part of the United Kingdom. "It is
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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