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Describe and explain the reactions of Unionists groups to the Partition Treaty of 1921

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  • Essay length: 1342 words
  • Submitted: 13/08/2003
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GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85

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a) Describe and explain the reactions of Unionists groups to the Partition Treaty of 1921

In 1918 World War 1 ended and an Irish General Election was held. Sinn Féin received the most votes. The Irish Unionist Party won 26 seats, mostly in Ulster. All 73 Sinn Féin MPs refused to go to Westminster, and instead sat in their own Parliament in Dublin. Called Dail Eireann, it first met on 21st January 1919, although it had no power to exercise.

Sinn Féin represented a vote for complete independence, which was a dramatic change because the Irish people had always voted for Home Rule before. Now Sinn Féin had won the election, they set up their own law courts, police and government. The Irish volunteers were renamed the Irish Republican Army (I.R.A). Unionists were apprehensive and scared. They feared being a united Ireland with Catholics as the majority, as they were Protestants. Whatever the Catholics wanted, would always overrule the Protestants.

In 1919, the powers in Europe sat down to redraw the boundaries of Europe. Sinn Féin attended these meetings and attempted to have Ireland included in this redrawing. They argued that Ireland should

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