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Northern Ireland Question1 & 2

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Introduction

GCSE Northern Ireland Coursework Question 1 What are the main differences between the beliefs of the Republicans/Nationalists and the Loyalists/Unionists (5 marks) The main differences between the Republicans and the Loyalists is that the Nationalists see themselves as Irish rather than British; and fight for Ireland to have a separate government to that of Britain, with their government based in Dublin. Independence from Britain is their main goal, having one united nation called Ireland. The majority the Republicans are Catholic, only some of whom have extreme views. The main political parties promoting this view are the Social and Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Fein, the latter has close links with the IRA which often uses violence to achieve their ends. In contrast, the SDLP is strongly opposed to the use of militant tactics and is the main voice of parliamentary nationalism in Northern Ireland. The Unionists are generally Protestants who believe in maintaining the union between Britain and Northern Ireland, therefore sharing government. ...read more.

Middle

However, as recent events have shown, there is still a great deal of mistrust among the people of the province. Chooses two events from the last 400 years, which are particularly important in the shaping the views of: a. The Loyalists/Unionists/Protestants b. The Republicans/Nationalists/Catholics Explain your answer carefully. (8 marks) There have been many events in Ireland's history that have soured relations between the Unionists and Nationalists in Ireland. One of the most significant turning points came about in the 1840's. Revolutionary Nationalism was given a new lease of life by the Great Famine of 1845-49. This was an agricultural disaster, which led to a long-lasting hatred of the English, as they arguably did too little, too late to ease the situation. In the 1845 and 1846, the potato crop failed. The Irish farmers and their families depended on the crop as a major part of their diet - the crop failure resulted in at least one million deaths. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1918 the First World War ended but the mistrust between the two sides continued to grow until Civil War erupted in Ireland in 1920-21. The upshot of all the fighting was that the British government decided that the only solution was to divide Ireland into two parts - the North and the South. In 1920 the six most Protestant counties of Ulster were given their own parliament and their own government. There was a large Catholic minority in the six counties and in two of the counties there were more Catholics than Protestants. This new government of Northern Ireland became known as Stormont after the district of Belfast where it eventually met. Stormont was to have power over most aspects of life in the North but the new state was to stay part of the UK. This decision to split Ireland in two, lies at the heart of the modern argument about the future of Ireland and has led to the continuing mistrust today between the Nationalist and Unionist communities. Word Count: 459 ...read more.

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