The use of conflict to try and resolve political, religious or
cultural differences has existed for centuries, Violence and the State
are still two prevailing issues in our world today. It is often
assumed that violence and fighting occurs between peoples of very
different nationalities or cultures; that there differences are too
great for there to ever be peace or compromise. This, however, is not
the case; it is people with the most similar backgrounds that have the
hardest time agreeing. This is the situation in Northern Ireland. The
Anglo-Irish conflict in Northern Ireland is a complex web that
involves a struggle between classes, government power, and religion.
This conflict began before the 18th century when Ireland was ruled and
governed by the British until a heightened sense of Irish nationalism
arose. The Irish people wanted freedom from the British government and
the independence to rule themselves. Eventually the disputes were
consolidated to Northern Ireland. Factors such as class struggle and
politics became further entwined in this web. In Ireland, two distinct
groups eventually emerged. There was the lower class that supported
nationalism and the freedom of Ireland, and the upper class
(unionists) that supported the “union” of England and Ireland.
In general, the English and upper classes are Protestant, and the
lower class nationalists are Roman Catholic; however religion does not
play a direct role in the conflict. It does, however, have some effect
on the constant struggles between the two groups. For example, the
fighting is not due to a disagreement over religi...
... middle of paper ...
immeasurable. The Irish saw Catholiscm as a way to express their
identity and preserve their goals towards individual liberty, the
English could never interpret Catholiscm as anything other than the
enemy of liberty.
In conclusion, violence and religion are two terms that are
unfortunately very hard to separate. The shocking thing about the
situation in Northern Ireland is that both sides of the dispute are
Christian traditions. There is no doctrine or rule in either
denomination of Christianity that calls for such violence.
Christianity is supposed to be a religion that fosters peace and
forgiveness. For peace to exist within religion, the UK would have to
be run as a theocracy, however, this will never work as globalisation
takes hold and multiculturalism and multiethnicity look to break
barriers but fail.
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