A Closer Look at Why British troops were Sent into Northern Ireland in 1969

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A Closer Look at Why British troops were Sent into Northern Ireland in 1969

On the 14th August 1969 the British army was sent into occupy Northern

Ireland. The aim of this essay is to explain the short, medium and

long term causes of why the British troops were deployed in Northern

Ireland. i am going to do this by looking at sources, events and


The clashes between the Catholics and Protestants in NI go back a long

way from the middle ages. Between 1500 and 1800 when the British tried

to seize control of the catholics, the catholics refused to be ruled

by British Protestants and this lead to arguments which are still

continuing to the present day. The arguments between the two parties

became so extreme that the Irish began to demand home rule which meant

that although Ireland would stay part of the UK, it would manage its

own affairs and make its own laws. On 20th December 1920 the

Government of Ireland act became law whereby Ireland was partitioned

in two parts.

As a direct result of partition the Protestants became a majority in

Norther Ireland, this meant that a Protestant government would rule

NI. The Irish Catholics rebelled against this government since they

were treated very badly, they were given the worst jobs, they were

given places in the worst schools, poor housing, they were not given

any benefits. They were given no equality whatsoever.

The long term causes led to changes in Northern Ireland and these can

be seen as the medium term causes of the troubles there. This

Protestant government was only in power because of gerrymandering,

this was when the election boundaries were rigged to make sure

Unionists stayed in power. An example of gerrymandering is when the

three counties Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan (all three counties

consisting of a catholic population of over 75%) being left out of the

elections which meant there was a Protestant majority ensuring victory

for the Unionists in Northern Ireland.

The police force that was formed in Ulster was dominated by
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