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Long term causes of the conflict can be traced back to the 1100's when the Normans conquered Ireland. However the more predominant conflict started in the 1500's when Tudor Stuarts re-conquered Ireland and began the plantations of Protestants

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The Conflict In Northern Ireland coursework. In this unit of work we have been studying the causes of the conflict which is apparent in Northern Ireland. We have briefly studied both long term and short term effects of the conflict and why history has lead to the great divide in Northern Ireland today. We have discussed religious, political and social aspects of the conflict. Long term causes of the conflict can be traced back to the 1100's when the Normans conquered Ireland. However the more predominant conflict started in the 1500's when Tudor Stuarts re-conquered Ireland and began the plantations of Protestants. When Henry the eighth had conflict with the Pope he started up his own faith, the Protestant faith, in which he could get divorced from his queen. This meant that England, Wales and Scotland generally converted from Catholic to Protestant. However surrounding countries like France, Spain and Ireland remained Catholic. This religious divide proved a worry to English rule and England became more or an enticing target for conquer in relation to Spain and France. It was said by a monarch, "He who would England win must with Ireland begin." Ireland was almost a back door through which an invasion into England could take place, Spanish and French leaders could plan an attack through Ireland in which they could cross easily onto English soil. ...read more.


Catholics with large families would be given smaller houses than Protestants with smaller families. Since 1921 Catholics have found it much more difficult to get jobs in Northern Ireland. Catholics were only allowed one vote while Protestants got two which ensured Protestants always had the majority of power. These voting systems lead to more conflict when peaceful Catholic rioting turned violent. Neither side will accept responsibility for who shot first. Both sides say that the armed forces were in favour of the other side. However after 1921 the whole of the Police force was Protestants and even today the R.U.C is almost totally Protestant. The poor attitude to Catholics and the non-progressive situation in relation to a United Ireland lead to the formation of the IRA, the Irish Republican Army. In Belfast people are obviously upset and disgruntled from all of the violence. Yet never have they been exposed to any other way of living. They have been enclosed in a world of bias, destruction and death. I do not think that causes of the troubles in Ireland are because people are naturally sour about what happened hundreds of years ago. I think that it is because people in Northern Ireland are too afraid to wish for a different way of life because of the amount of pressure there elders put on them to hate the people who have a different opinion to themselves. ...read more.


This was taken from a news paper report from the Daily telegraph in January 2002. It suggests that the situation in Belfast has not in fact improved since the Good Friday agreement, but instead there is more of a division and there has been no reduction what so ever in the amount of mistrust and sectarian hatred in Belfast. Another report projects the division in Ireland and again suggests there has been no improvement in people attitudes, but instead the 'peace lines' has created a very effective divide and reduced violence. After studying a number of resources it would seem that in order to improve the situation in Northern Ireland, then you will have to know down the 'peace walls' and have both groups meet, under supervised situation. If this were not to work then there would have to be a complete divide between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, with only Protestants in the North and Catholics in the South. Generally I think that the people in Northern Ireland have been divided so much that conflict today would now seem pointless and almost impossible. People seem to have given up on political issues in groups and are now instead focusing on independent ways they can improve there lives. Catholics seem to have a fairer way of life which suggests that government is doing there best to reach solutions which are logical and fair. ...read more.

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