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How did the Protestant politicians explain the social, economic and political differences between Catholic and the Protestant?

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Introduction

How did the Protestant politicians explain the social, economic and political differences between Catholic and the Protestant? There were many social, economic and political differences between the Protestants and Catholics which often led to the mistreatment of the Catholic population. From the years 1921 to 1972, Northern Ireland was ruled by the Ulster Unionist Party as a separate state within the United Kingdom. During the period, the Catholics were treated very differently from the Protestants. New council houses generally went to the Protestants which resulted in the Catholics living in poorer homes. Their education system was segregated but Catholic schools received less money so they couldn't afford all the necessary equipment needed to run a good school. Universities encouraged Protestant applications rather than Catholic, which meant they were less likely to get a good job, or promotion, which furthermore meant they were less likely to reach a high social status. They therefore received lower pay which links back to why they were living in poorer homes. ...read more.

Middle

Also, the strength of the Church meant it was capable of many things, "The Roman Catholic Church is out to destroy Protestantism." It is obvious that some Protestants felt that the Catholics could be very dangerous if given the opportunity Not all politicians felt like this. Captain Terence O' Neil was a Protestant Unionist who hoped to improve the lives of the Catholics. Even though he was a Protestant, he still admitted that Catholics had to face a vast amount of discrimination in many areas of life. He tried to convince the Unionist party that if the Catholics were treated like Protestants, they would begin to behave like Protestants. Also, the fair treatment of the Catholic people would help to guarantee their faithfulness to Ulster, as they were previously seen as 'disloyal'. O' Neil introduced some mild reforms, giving the Catholics a better deal in the allocation of local authority housing and public appointments. He was accused by many Protestants of being a traitor and was eventually forced out of office. ...read more.

Conclusion

There were some problems from the past that affected the way the Catholics were treated. The massacres of 1641 stick in many Protestant minds, as this is when the Catholics rose against the Protestants and killed hundreds of people. This makes it hard for many Protestants to treat their fellow Catholics like equals and also promotes their fear of the Catholics disloyalty. Not all Protestant politicians tried to explain the reason for discrimination towards Catholics. Others minimised the differences between the two denominations or argued that the Protestant political control nevertheless gave Catholics equal chances of social and economic progress. They did this by pointing out some good factors of the Catholic way of life, such as the quality of the best Catholic schools. Some politicians did not even think they needed to clarify this apparent maltreatment of Catholics. They argued that there were no differences and any that seemed apparent were exaggerated by the frequent media attention. So therefore, this is how the protestant politicians explained the social, economic and political differences between the Catholics and Protestants in society. ...read more.

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