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How important were the following two events;The Easter Rising 1916 and The deployment of British troops in Northern Ireland in 1969, in shaping the views of Loyalist/Unionist/Protestants.

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Introduction

Coursework Assignment 2 - How important were the following two events; The Easter Rising 1916 and The deployment of British troops in Northern Ireland in 1969, in shaping the views of Loyalist/Unionist/Protestants and Republican/Nationalist/Catholics both at the time and in the present day? The Easter rising spanned from Monday 24th April until Saturday 29th April 1916. It began when the Irish Republican Brotherhood and members of the citizen army gathered and took control of a variety of areas of central Dublin. The 1200 volunteers' reasons for this and possible justification for the attacks had occurred over the previous few years. After many attempts in parliament, the Home Rule bill successfully passed, as the liberal government requires the Irish Nationalists' votes. Their votes were exchanged for the passing of this bill, with the influence of newly elected Nationalist leader John Redmond. The unionists, resisting the new bill, were angry towards the new government, with Sir Edward Carson's Ulster Unionists threatening violence against the Home Rule bill and wanting to form their own Government in Ulster. The unionists believed that the bill threatened their freedom and way of life. Despite this, the British Prime Minister and Nationalist leaders did not consider that the unionists would use a great deal of force against the bill. The Home Rule bill became law in 1912; however, the impending threat of war with Germany delayed the bill in the House of Lords for two years. ...read more.

Middle

The Nationalists views towards the Unionists and British became more extreme, with Sinn Fein obtaining 76 seats in parliament out of 111 in December 1918. The fact that the Sinn Feiners received a huge majority of the available seats meant that they did not go to London and formed their own parliament in Dublin a month after the election, and also meant that the Irish never obtained the Home rule bill. In the long term, the Nationalist dislike of the Unionists and Britain has increased, and the gap between the views of the two groups has widened further and further, with the groups splitting into sub-groups. The Easter Rising probably spared the extinction of unionists in the country, as if the Home Rule bill had been passed, then the unionists would almost certainly have been forced out of Ireland or even killed. It led to a four year civil war and hundreds of soldiers and civilians dead on both sides, and a partitioning of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. The Unionists, although less shaped in views by the event than their Nationalist counterparts, also felt a degree of sympathy and support for the Republicans. Despite their compassion for their opposites, they were angry at Sinn Fein for not traveling to Westminster to Parliament. This was another factor leading to the civil war. In the long term, both parties have felt much more bitterness towards each other, and the Easter rising has not helped them to integrate and understand each other's views. ...read more.

Conclusion

They saw the presence of the troops as a scheme against their freedom. They were also mad at the British troops for undermining them, and for not taking their side. They considered the troops a hindrance against the progress they were making in Catholic areas of Northern Ireland. Later, a new attitude was developed towards the British. The Catholics thought the troops were on the Unionists side, so turned against them, with girls found to be dating British men tarred and feathered. The IRA split into two groups, which led to even more conflict in views within groups and sub-groups. The Protestants, however, started to consider the troops to be on their side, and saw them as a protection against the nationalists as the IRA grew in support. The Protestants needed protection. This led to the Unionists rights increasing even further, and to the formation of the Democratic Unionist party. In the long term, violence is still common in Northern Ireland, and British troops are still present, but violence is much less frequent. On both sides, extreme views are still shared, and hatred, bitterness and resentment is still high, yet peaceful methods are used in the majority. The deployment of troops, unintentionally triggered by the civil rights movement, was a major hindrance to the Protestant Unionists, but possibly saved the lives of many Catholics. On the other hand, the Easter rising, a huge event in Irish history, changed the shape of Ireland forever. 06/10/2002 Gareth wallace | History | Coursework assignment 2 ...read more.

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