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One political reason that the Protestants opposed the CRA was because they thought it might be a cover for the IRA. The Cameron Report, ordered by the British government in 1969, was to find out about the CRA membership.

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Introduction

What Political, Religious and Economic Reasons Led Many Protestants to Oppose the CRA? In America in the early 60's the Black Rights Movement used a non violent approach to get the results they wanted. Their success inspired other people, who felt that they were treated unfairly, to fight for their rights. In Ireland, 1967 the members of the Campaign for Social Justice and others formed the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA/ CRA). The CRA based their campaigns on those of the Black Rights Movement. In August 1968 was the first Civil Rights March in Northern Ireland. 2,500 people marched from Coal Island to Dungannon to protest over housing discrimination of the Catholics. Supporters of the CRA were varied, they included Liberal Unionists. Membership was mainly Catholic. As anyone could join the CRA some political groups used it as a cover for their needs, such as Eamonn McCann, who formed the Derry Housing Action Committee. The DHAC encouraged homeless Catholic families to squat in newly built council houses. What Unionists wanted to know was who were the members of the CRA and was it just a cover for something more violent? ...read more.

Middle

If Ireland became united then the Protestant religion would become the minority in Ireland. The Unionist government would be threatened by Catholic Parties. The Unionists fight to keep Ireland British. They set up the party to oppose Nationalists. Unionists fear a Dublin Parliament, controlled by a Catholic majority, would threaten their hold on power as well as their Protestant way of life. This is shown through some of the CRA demands- "The vote for everybody as in the rest of the United Kingdom"- the Unionists would oppose this because they don't want Catholics in Northern Ireland, to have much say as then Nationalist Party might become elected and the Protestant society will be threatened. Another demand the Unionists opposed was "Laws against discrimination in employment at local government level", the reason they would oppose this is basically just like the last demand- Protestants don't want Catholics to be in the government as they will all campaign for a united Ireland and might succeed if they have enough force. The next group of reasons that led most Protestants to oppose the CRA are religious ones. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the British ruled Northern Ireland the Welfare State applied to them as well. If Ireland became united, then Northern Ireland would lose Welfare. Southern Ireland didn't have anything like it. The Welfare Sate took care of medical bills etc. Without it the cost of living would go up and for a lot of people in Northern Ireland they couldn't afford it. The Catholic population would increase if they were given equal housing rights, which is another economical reason. Better housing would mean that Catholic families would increase. There are lots of varied economic, religious and political reasons to what led many Protestants to oppose the CRA. Most of the reasons come down to the same idea- that if Catholics get too many rights then they will try and unite Southern and Northern Ireland. To have a united Ireland would disrupt the Protestant culture and religion as Catholics would be the majority, Rome and the Pope would be in charge of the country. Protestants would have to lose their freedom. The reason that many Protestants opposed the Civil Rights Association is because they valued their freedom and culture and didn't want it taken away. ...read more.

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