• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the extent to which the Northern Ireland Government was willing and able to use its extensive devolved powers to develop distinctive policies between 1921 and 1972.

Extracts from this document...


QUESTION: Assess the extent to which the Northern Ireland Government was willing and able to use its extensive devolved powers to develop distinctive policies between 1921 and 1972. The issue of central importance within this essay, is to show the extent to which Northern Ireland was willing and able to use its new devolved powers after 1920 as well as the extent to which these powers were used. Within Northern Ireland, the 1920 Government of Ireland Act was deemed the most important treaty that set the foundation for partition structures. The key for working out what the Northern Ireland Government and its political structures were about could be established by analysing the main political institutions developed under the Government of Ireland Act. The first point to make is that Stormont had institutions and a Parliament. In terms of institutional structures what developed from the Act were the Stormont Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Senate was equivalent to the House of Lords and the structure of the Assembly was similar to that of the House of Commons. Thus, 'the new arrangements established a bicameral legislature, and a subordinate government in Belfast with authority over a number of devolved powers, including policing, education, local government and social services.'I The subsequent relationship between Westminster and Stormont was that during this period Stormont was subjective to Westminster, Northern Ireland was a miniature Westminster, referred to as the Westminster Model. ...read more.


In the course of events legislative devolution was virtually impossible because of the political and financial restraints imposed by the 1920 Government of Ireland Act. As a result there was more of an administrative devolution, especially with respect to agricultural policy within Northern Ireland that led to subsequent restraints in policy variation. The quasi-federal approach can also be used to describe the extent to which the Northern Ireland Government was willing and able to use its extensive devolved powers is. This can be explained by the fact that some scholars argue that the government was more akin to a federal system, as they were given powers in which they subsequently used. Birrell and Murie argue that 'in spite of very real constraints, Northern Ireland and its government could and did diverge substantially from the standards and legislation operating at Great Britain and at Westminster as independent action, different policies and substantially different policies did emerge.VIII In certain case studies, it was established that the implementation of policies within Northern Ireland was somewhat different to those implemented within Britain, for instance within educational policies. Great ambitions of the 1923 Education Act were hardly realised but did help improve certain areas of education. Although, despite the peculiarities of its politico-administrative system and the differences in it's political cleavages with Britain, Northern Ireland still forms part of the UK. ...read more.


The official British position is that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. ''The Northern Irish problem' is a term widely used in Northern Ireland and outside as if there were an agreed and universal understanding of what it means. It is more accurate, and more productive, to consider the issue, not as 'problem' with the implication that a solution lies around the corner, but as a tangle of interrelated problems.'XV For instance, there is the central constitutional problem of what the political context should be: integration with Britain? Or a united Ireland with independence? There are also continuing social and economic problems, which raise the issue of inequalities with Northern Ireland, for instance, in the area of employment. There is an evident problem with security, law and order within Northern Ireland as well as problems with cultural identity relating to education, religious difference and distinct problems with the day-to-day relationships with the people who live in Northern Ireland. All of these issues that have arisen show that these are elements to the problem within Northern Ireland and that there is not just one dominant problem. It can therefore be argued that 'the formulation and implementation of policy would have been more efficient and effective if removed from the bitter sectarian conflict, which constitutes Northern Ireland politics. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. Conflict in Ireland

    were given extra votes and many of the poor Catholics had none, about 25,000 adults did not have the vote for the local government elections, most of these 25,000 were Catholics. A law also stated that lodgers and children over 21 living at home did not have the vote.

  2. Conflict in Ireland

    The officers had little experience of a non-violent approach to situations such as Bloody Sunday, which lead to the march becoming out of control, this earned itself the name 'Bloody Sunday'. During the course of Bloody Sunday, 13 people lost their lives.

  1. Northern Ireland Essay

    Despite the problems of that conflict being 400 years ago, they still happen in Ireland's society to this day. A reason for this occurrence is the shameful discrimination between Protestants and Catholics in aspects of their everyday lives. There was discrimination in the policing force, because the majority of the police were all Protestants.

  2. Northern Ireland

    In August the RUC reported to the British government the IRA were planning an uprising, this was later proven to be totally false. General Anthony Peacocke, of the RUC, sent a message to the British government stating that a "reliable source" had stated that the IRA was about to commence from Eire to Northern Ireland.

  1. Northern Ireland Conflict-Religion vs. PoliticsThe conflict in Northern Ireland is likely one of the ...

    The decommissioning of paramilitary arms became an important issue as Northern Ireland moved towards multi-party talks. It became apparent that some of the participants would only accept those parties, who were linked to paramilitary organizations, into a talk's process if weapons were first handed over.

  2. The History of Conflict in Ireland.

    IRA which had been gone into the realms of history, but which now had to be resurrected. The IRA were able to take advantage of how the community began to manage itself, and in Belfast, for example, the Catholic community formed what was called the Citizen's Defense Community, representing 75,000 Catholics.

  1. What where the main features of Liberal Policies towards Ireland between 1906-1914.

    They became aware of the possible threat it may have. As a result, the English government formulated an agreement with Irish Prime minister William Pitt to unionise Ireland and Britain. Additionally, there was a promise of Irish Catholic emancipation, in which they would be granted civil rights.

  2. Conflict in Northern Ireland: A Background Essay

    It is probable that the union would have been repealed by a Home Rule act but for the intervention of the First World War. During the war an armed rising was attempted in Dublin during Easter week, 1916. The rising failed and the leaders were executed, creating a wave of sympathy for the IRA and its political wing, Sinn F�in.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work