England and Northern Ireland History

Topics: Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, The Troubles Pages: 6 (2130 words) Published: December 8, 2013
Catherine Ann Taylor
Comparative Politics
Spring 2013

The Relationship between the English and Northern Irish in the Context of In the Name of the Father

The intertwined and complex history of England and Ireland dates back to the 12th century, when English barons seized Irish lands. This continued until the 1300s, at which point most of the land in Ireland was owned by English. Loyalty to England weakened when the Englishmen began identifying more in Ireland. In 1534, Henry VIII took control of Ireland. When he became king of Ireland in 1541, he created new laws that increased English control over Ireland (Northern Ireland Timeline). Queen Elizabeth I attempted to assert English authority over Ireland by outlawing Catholic services, which only made Catholics protest more strongly against British rule (Northern Ireland Timeline). Conflict between England and Northern Ireland can be traced back to the 1600s, when the English squelched a number of rebellions by the Irish. (Imbornoni, Brunner, and Rowen) A large portion of Ireland, especially Northern Ireland, was then colonized by Scottish and English Protestants (Imbornoni, Brunner, and Rowen). In 1649, Oliver Cromwell led an army to Ireland to stop Irish revolts against British rule. Cromwell, who was in favor of Protestantism, established several anti-Catholic laws that stripped them of many political rights. In 1688, the British invited William of Orange to be king of England and Scotland, causing King James II of England to flee to Ireland. William’s army defeated that of James in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 (Northern Ireland Timeline). During the 1800s the northern and southern Ireland grew further apart due to economic differences. The standard of living in the north elevated with the rise of industry and manufacturing .The south had unequal distribution of land and resources, as Anglican Protestants owned the majority of the land. This resulted in a lower standard of living for the large Catholic population (Imbornoni, Brunner, and Rowen). Northern Ireland did not gain political separation from the rest of Ireland until the early portion of the 20th century, when the issue of home rule divided Protestants and Catholics into two conflicting camps. The majority of Irish Catholics wanted complete independence from Britain, but Irish Protestants did not, as they feared that their interests would be realized in a country with a Catholic majority rule (Imbornoni, Brunner, and Rowen). In the early twentieth century there was a long period of guerilla warfare between the nationalist Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British military forces (Imbornoni, Brunner, and Rowen). In 1920, Britain passed the Government of Ireland Act, which divided Ireland into two separate political entities that each possessed some qualities of self-government. (Dorney) One entity with twenty-six counties was known as the Irish Free State, and was somewhat independent. The other entity remained part of the United Kingdom. This split created a divide in Irish sentiment, with Unionists wishing to remain part of the United Kingdom and Republicanists, who wanted Ireland to have complete independence (Northern Ireland Timeline). There was also a divide along religious lines, with Ulster Protestants accepting the legislation, while Southern Catholics rejected it, wanting complete independence as one, unified Ireland. The Irish Free State became an independent republic in 1949 (Imbornoni, Brunner, and Rowen). In 1921, British and Irish forces arranged a treaty that would allow a considerable amount of independence to the 26 Irish counties that were then the Irish Free State. The problem with the treaty was that dissolved the Republic declared in 1918 and pledged Irish parliament members to pledge their allegiance to Britain. In addition, it the separation of Northern and Southern Ireland, which was previously established with the 1920 Government of Ireland Act (Dorney). Most violent...

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Dorney, John. "The Irish Civil War – A Brief Overview." The Irish Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.
Harding, Thomas. "British Justice Left Bleeding in Pub Ruins." The Telegraph. N.p., 10 Feb. 2005. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. .
Imbornoni, Annie Marie, Borgna Brunner, and Beth Rowen. "The Northern Irish Conflict: A Chronology." Infoplease. Pearson Education, 2007. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. .
In the Name of the Father. Dir. Jim Sheridan. By Terry George. Perf. Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, and Emma Thompson. [Universal], 1993. DVD.
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