The British Irish Conflict Essay Research Paper
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The British Irish Conflict Essay, Research Paper The Irish-British Conflict Throughout history there has been an ongoing saga of war, prejudice, and hatredbetween Ireland and Great Britain. Lately they have been going back and forth over thecontrol and ownership of Northern Ireland. But within the last decade, after forty years ofintense fighting, there have been the greatest strides toward peace on both sides of thefighting. The relationship between Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain has alwaysbeen a volatile one, marred with shooting, bombings, riots, assassinations, and riots. Thebasis of the fighting has been over the control and ownership of Northern Ireland. Themain split is between religious groups. The Catholics of Northern Ireland want to join theRepublic of Ireland and form one independent island of Ireland. The Protestants ofNorthern Ireland want to remain under direct British rule. (Encyclopedia Britanica Page290) The roots of conflict go back over four hundred years. When King Henry VIIIdeclared himself King of Ireland, it started centuries of British rule. This came after morethan two centuries of increasing British rule and ownership in the country. Later on,during the rule of Elizabeth I, the religious differences widened in Ireland between theIrish Catholic and the British Protestants. Her reign also brought widespread rebellionsand violent protests directly related to the religious differences in the region. (WWW.CNN.COM) British oppression only worsened as time went on. Through the seventeenth andeighteenth centuries, the British passed laws against the Irish Catholics. Some of theseincluded preventing the Irish from bearing arms, restrict their rights to education, stoppingthem from buying and holding land, and banning them from serving in the army, holdingpublic office, entering the legal profession, becoming Military Police, or voting.(WWW.CNN.COM) The Irish continued to oppose the British government, but nothing came out of ituntil 1919. The Irish Republican Army, and their political party counterpart, Sinn Fien,was formed in 1919, dedicated to fight forcibly for complete independence from Britishrule. The IRA started a guerilla war in 1919 to win independence from Great Britain. Through 1919 and into 1920, the IRA harassed the police and military with ambushes,sudden raids, and assassinations. To satisfy the IRA’s demands, the British governmentpassed the Government of Ireland Act. The act split Ireland into two separate states, eachwith a limited power of self-government. The top six counties of Ireland broke off andformed Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland was satisfied with the treaty because there wasstill a Protestant majority. However, the tale was quite different in Southern Ireland,where the catholic majority wanted more freedom from Britain and rejected the act. Thefighting continued until July of 1921. The British Parliament passed the Anglo-IrishTreaty. The treaty, signed on December sixth, 1921, made Ireland a dominion, that is aself-governing country which agreed to swear allegiance to the British Crown. Thedominion was called the Irish Free State. (The World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia) This treaty split the IRA. The part that accepted it became the Army of The IrishFree State. The others that rejected the treaty were called the Irregulars. The Irregularsrejected the treaty because it did not grant Ireland complete independence from Britainand complete union with Northern Ireland. As a result of this, a civil war broke out in theIrish Free State, in which the Irregulars lost, but still operated as an underground, secretorganization. (The World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia) Finally, in 1949, the Irish Free State renounced its dominion status and declareditself the Republic of Ireland. But Northern Ireland remained under British rule. Becauseof the Republic of Ireland’s new independence, the IRA was reunited.