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Explain the development of Catholic grievances and Protestant attitudes in Northern Ireland from partition to the 1960s.

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Introduction

Matthew Arnold Explain the development of Catholic grievances and Protestant attitudes in Northern Ireland from partition to the 1960s. Both Britain and Sinn Fein signed the Partition treaty in 1921. However, they only looked upon it as a temporary solution to the problems that Ireland faced. Both leaders assumed that given some time, the problems would be sorted out and that Ireland would become a united country again. Unfortunately this did not happen and the two parts drifted further from each other. After partition, the Loyalists held the power in the North. They had the desire to keep Ulster both Protestant and British. They regarded the Catholics who lived in the North as traitors. This led to the discrimination of Catholics. In the South of Ireland, Nationalists had the majority of jobs in the newly established government. The Republicans, who wanted to unite Ireland, were in control here. It was inevitable that the two parts of Ireland would not agree to rejoin. The Partition Treaty caused there to be huge disputes between Nationalists in the South, This was because the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ...read more.

Middle

Partition also brought problems for those who lived in the North. Even though Protestant Unionists were in the majority, there were still thousands of Catholics who were living there. Many of these people refused to accept the division. Between July 1920 and July 1922, there was brutal street fighting in Belfast and over 450 people were killed. This increased Protestant fears about Catholic Nationalists and their association with the South. In Northern Ireland there was a separate parliament. It was intended to support both the Catholics and the Protestants. However, as the Protestants were in the majority, they had control over Stormont Parliament. Before 1969 every member of the Northern Ireland cabinet was a Protestant and the majority of these people were members of the Orange Order. The Unionists also decided to alter local governments election boundaries so that they could win control of local councils as well. This is known as gerrymandering. The Unionists were able to use their power to help their own community. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many of the IRA leaders were put in prison, resulting in the IRA temporarily abandoning the idea of force to unite Ireland. It tried to make the gap smaller between the Nationalists and the Unionists by campaigning for improvements in the wages and living conditions for all working people. By the early 1960s, there was also a change of mood of political leaders in the North and South. This was triggered off when De Valera retired as the Prime Minister of the Iris Republic. The new leader, Sean Lemass, was less hostile towards the Unionists. The changes in attitude were similar in the North. By 1963, the hardline Unionist Prime Minister, Lord Brookeborough was replaced by Terence O'Neill, who wanted to end unfair treatment of the Catholics in the Northern Ireland. The new mood became clear in 1965 when Lemass visited O'Neill at Stormont. It seemed that there was a possibility now that Catholics and Protestants could work together and make a new and fairer way of life in the North of Ireland. Unfortunately, although great efforts had been made for the Catholics and Unionists to settle their differences, it was not long before violence again broke out in Northern Ireland. ...read more.

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