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

Explain why Unionist fears have grown since 1921.

Extracts from this document...


2. Explain why Unionist fears have grown since 1921. Sinn Fein represented a vote for complete independence - a dramatic change and this is when the fear set in with the Unionists. They did want to be a part of the Republic and have to be ruled by Catholic ways. The Unionists knew that whatever the Catholics wanted, it would always overrule the Protestants and so they would never be heard and could never really voice their opinions at elections etc. During 1920 and 1921, the IRA made many raids over the border to the North and often attacked local Protestants - this was part of the ongoing 'war' between the two countries. These attacks scared the Protestants that were mainly also Unionists, as they didn't know when the next attack was going to happen or what to be prepared for. The Protestants blamed the IRA attacks and removal of their homes on the Catholics. All this cause rioting and violence obviously scared the Unionists, even if they were responding by fighting back. After the Civil war (1918-1921) and the partition of North and South, the 'Irish Free State' (the Republic) ...read more.


were having an equal amount of say in the government. As the Unionists opposed this sharing the government, it failed after only 5 months. They were scared of power sharing with the Catholics because they knew that the Catholics could introduce their laws to the Protestant Unionists. The leaders from the British government and from the Republic decided that conflict in the north couldn't be solved unless a peace plan was made. In 1985 the 'Anglo-Irish Agreement' was signed by the British and Republic. This means a joint committee was set up by the governments to decide matters such as justice and laws in the north. Although the Unionists has claimed the interference of the north in their government since the partition in 1921, the British were allowing the government of the Republic to have a say in the running of the north. This did not go down well with the Unionists, as the south officially could have a say in their government and the running of their country. Talks in the 1990's prevailed in the 'Downing Street Declaration'. It planned to achieve cooperation between the UK and he Irish Republic by limiting terrorism and working together for peace. ...read more.


This was a risk for the Unionists and people doubted whether the IRA would do as they had promised. The Unionists wanted reassurance from Britain due to the fact that Sinn Fein joined the peace talks without surrendering any weapons. This need for reassurance show a hint of fear in the Unionists. Shortly after, the Good Friday Agreement was signed on the 10th April 1998. Even though all parties signed the agreement, the Unionists may still have feared the agreement on letting out prisoners and ex-terrorists. However, this agreement signalised for a new beginning as written on page 1 of the Good Friday document. (Highlighted in the booklet). Very simply, the Unionists believed (and still believe) in the union of Ireland and the UK. This means for them, they are almost another English country. Although they would have some power over their own affairs, the British parliament in London would have the final control. This, they believe would protect their interests in Ireland against the Catholic majority in the country. All the events since 1921 and with all the legislation passed, much of it shows two things: it allows for the weakening of United Kingdom control over Ireland, and is moving towards more influence for the Catholics in Ireland. The two things the Unionists do not want. ...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. How Effectively did Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders advance their Cause in the years ...

    Carson and Craig accepted that and even Redmond accepted it on the understanding that it was temporary. But then the problem was shelved with the arrival of World War One. On 4th August 1914, the British Government declared war on Germany.

  2. The History of Conflict in Ireland.

    Not only do we disapprove of it, but we're telling you that it's counterproductive." And by challenging Sinn Fein on his own ground, we're challenging the very heart of Republican mythology, and they're making these people think politically for the first time.

  1. What are the main differences between Republicans / Nationalists and Unionists / Loyalists?

    This was mainly a problem for the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland, who mad3 up only 1/3 of the population. Many protestant unionists saw the Catholics as a threat to their wish to remain part of the United Kingdom. In order to keep them out of power, Catholics were intimidated and threatened against standing for elections.

  2. Describe and explain the Unionist reactions to power sharing with the Nationalists in 1974.

    In theory this was a temporary measure, but it was obvious that Britain would never hand Northern Ireland back to exclusive Unionists rule. If any kind of peace were to be restored, it would have to be based on a compromise with the Catholic Nationalists.

  1. Why was there a change in the levels of tension between Unionists and Nationalists ...

    This shows us that the USA were also on the Nationalists side and that they also though that the Nationalists were being treated unfairly. This support would have allowed the IRA to raise funds and to obtain weapons from the USA.

  2. Ireland Coursework - Natinalists vs unionists

    the wrong the Catholics of Ireland are still unhappy today and want Britain to accept the responsibility for what happened more then 25 years ago on bloody Sunday. Edward Daly, a Catholic, said 'I would like to leave it to rest but the events of that day still haunt me.....until

  1. Catholic and Protestant, Nationalist and Unionist, Republican and

    Thus rose the concept of "Home Rule", an idea of British Prime Minister Gladstone and his Liberal Party. Home Rule was intended to be a form of powersharing government, where Ireland would have "limited autonomy over domestic matters, whilst the Westminster parliament would continue to legislate on defense and foreign policy, along with most economic affairs" (Tonge 6).

  2. Describe and explain the reactions of Unionist groups to: a. The Partition Treaty of ...

    Valera wanted a strong and independent state in the South, he was a devout Catholic and consequently he strengthened the role of the Catholic Church. Valera began cutting all economic and political ties with Britain, Ireland did not support Britain in the Second World War they remained neutral and in

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