Which of the following was the most important cause of the Northern Ireland conflict? (voting, education) Explain your answer.
The conflict in Northern Ireland happened during the period 1963-1985, where it was officially declared over in 1994. Also known as “The Troubles”, this conflict started between two groups of people, the Catholics and the Protestants. The Catholics saw Ireland as one country and wanted the reunification of Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland as one state. However, the Protestants wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom for political and economic reasons. There are many different reasons for armed conflict in Northern Ireland, stemming from political factors to social factors. In this essay, we would like to focus on the causes of the conflict, mainly voting and education. One of the causes of the Northern Ireland conflict was the voting system. The differences in the voting rights of the Catholics and the Protestants led to unhappiness among the Catholics, thus starting a campaign which changed the voting system to a fairer and better one. From 1920s – 1960s, the Protestants got hold of the power to rule Ireland. They made sure that their power belonged to them permanently by changing the voting system and local council boundaries and in 1922, they abolished proportional representation. Because of the change in voting system, the Protestants would then be able to benefit from it and maintain their power. The Catholics however lost whatever majority they had.
The voting rights before 1968 were the new voting system that was created by the Protestants. The law stated that each household was given two votes and only ratepayers and spouses could vote. Subtenants, lodgers and people living with their parents were not allowed to vote. Bigger companies were also entitles to more votes. This was clear discrimination against the Nationalists, as the main ratepayers in Northern Ireland were the Protestants. Thus,...
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