British Irish Relations over the past 300 years

Satisfactory Essays
British- Irish relations over the past three hundred years have been troubled. There have been many tensions caused by religion in Northern Ireland and Britain's unfair rule of Northern Ireland. The British are guilty of many of the indignities suffered by the Irish people. They are also guilty of causing all of the religious and territorial conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
The division between Northern and Southern Ireland dates back to the 16th century. A succession of English monarchs had used the planting of Protestant English and Scottish people on lands seized from Irish Catholics as a way of increasing loyalty to the British Crown. This is an example of how the British treated the people of Ireland unfairly.
In 1912 British parliament gave home rule to Ireland. Home rule is when a country who is ruled by another country is giving the ability to govern its self. However some people in Irelands Northern counties did not want home rule. They wanted to remain governed by Britain. So the people in the Northern Counties (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone) remained under British rule while the Southern Counties formed the Republic of Ireland. Shortly after the formation of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland hostilities pushed these two countries to the brink of civil war. This was prevented by the start of World War I.
English persecution of the Irish people is one cause of the tensions in Northern Ireland. Before 1793 Irish Catholics were persecuted by British law. Catholics were not allowed to buy and sell land, get proper education, marry Protestants or vote. This fueled problems in Ireland. After 1793 Britain was afraid, after loosing America, that a revolution would happen in Ireland. So the restrictions on the Irish Catholics were done away with. This however angered the protestants who formed the Orange Order, who was against the Catholics. This all came to a head when in 1798 when a small rebellion broke out.
“It began with a blight of the potato crop that left acre upon acre of Irish farmland covered with black rot.”(The Irish Famine, 1) This of course is in reference to the Irish Famine. The Irish Famine was another cause of the tensions in Ireland. As crops across Ireland failed, the price of food soared. This made it impossible for Irish farmers to sell there goods, the good which the farmers relied upon to pay their rent to their English and Protestant landlords.
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