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Northern Ireland

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Autor: 24  •  May 20, 2011  •  2,415 Words (10 Pages)  •  739 Views

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Northern Ireland:

* A part of the United Kingdom

* Lies in the northeast of the Islands of Ireland

* The population of Northern Ireland was estimated as being 1,710,300 on 30 June 2004.

* Not considered a country.

* Very related to Great Britain in economic matters, because they provide most of the import and export.

* Northern Ireland is considered as a problem on the financial front on the British Isles, caused by an unstable economic situation.


* Between nationalists (Catholics) and unionist (Protestants)

* The nationalists wants Northern Ireland to be unified with the Republic of Ireland and unionists wants it to remain a part of the United Kingdom.

* Unionists are in the majority, nationalists are significant minority.

* The protestants consider themselves British and Catholics sees themselves as Irish.

Nationalists Unionists

Catholic Protestant

Unify Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland Remain a part of the united kingdom

Are a significant minority Are in the majority

Consider themselves as Irish Consider themselves as British

The troubles:

* Popular name used about the campaigns of violence between Catholics and Protestants.

* Many aspects are involved in the background history such as: Economics, politics and social conditions.

The history background:

In the very beginning it started with English adventurers colonising parts of Ireland. The colonising lead to that the whole of Ireland eventually was brought under English rule. Already in 1640 Oliver Cromwell decides to oppress the people he considers to be primitive and brutal; the Catholics. Therefore a number of laws are made to use against the Catholics. In 1800 a law called "The Act of Union" is passed. It decides that England and Ireland are to be united, and the Catholics get a limited freedom of expression.

The English did not stop at that. To make sure they had a strong rule in Ireland they encouraged Protestants from England and Scotland to settle in Ireland. The settlers of course, established themselves in the most fertile areas in Ireland. It did not take long for the English to reach their goal; for the Protestants to outnumber the Catholics.

Over the years to come the Catholics are to lose their land, their right to vote, and do not have the opportunity to take higher education or have professional jobs. Ireland, that used to be a country of its own, is now under the English empires total control. In 1828 a Catholic parliament member chosen by the people is denied to execute his position. But not long after, in 1929, the law is changed so that also Catholics can be members of the parliament.

In 1917 a party called Sinn Fein is formed by Irish Nationalists. They get much political power in large areas of Northern Ireland. They have their big breakthrough in 1918, but in 1919 the IRA makes their entrance. 14 cops are killed and 20 hurt by a group of Republicans who call themselves The Irish Republican Army (IRA). The first "Bloody Sunday" occurs in November when the IRA shoots 14 more of the governments men. As a consequence the party Sinn Fein is now forbidden by the British Government.

But of course, the Irish people do not surrender, even after many long and hard battles. And in 1921 their reward comes; they become independent from British rule. Ulster however, remains in union with Britain.

Now that the Irish were free from British rule, they also needed their own parliament. It was placed at Stormont, and it was meant to look after the interests of both Catholics and Protestants. But the Protestants still outnumbered the Catholics and therefore they controlled Stormont and the government. The Catholics feel undermined by the Protestants and starts a campaign. They can hardly get jobs, or proper housing. And they are also treated badly by the police, who were armed and of course consisted only by Protestants.

The hope that has been lying in the background through all this years is now starting to fade. The hope that eventually whole of Ireland could be united. The Protestants have accepted that they are a separate Northern state united with Britain. And things are starting to look better for the Catholics social condition. The people living in Northern Ireland are actually starting to believe that Protestants and Catholics can create a new and fairer Ireland together.

But look out, because here comes trouble. "The Troubles" shatter the hopes of a better future for both Protestants and Catholics. The marches by Catholics were started because they felt the progress for their civil rights were going to slow. They wanted equal rights. The protests were meant to be peaceful, but ended in violence and bloodshed.

By 1969 the fights between Protestants and Catholics was out of control. The British government decided to send in their own troops to restore order. While the troops were meant to stay there only for a short period of time, they stayed for almost thirty years. The British did not think that the parliament of Stormont could control Northern Ireland it self. The IRA and the Protestant Paramilitaries were back on the streets and the situation reached a crisis point. The British decided to suspend Stormont in 1972. While they thought it would help to bring Northern Ireland under total British control again, the opposite happened.

Instead of bringing the situation under control, like it was suppose to do, it nearly added fuel to the fire. The IRA now started to plant bombs both in Ulster and on the British mainland that killed and injured many innocent. The Protestants on the other hand started to seek out and kill Catholics. The climax of the horrible situation occurred on the last Sunday of January 1972. The British were loosing control, and while the Catholics were having a demonstration for civil


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