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'To what extent did Protestant support for an independent Ireland change in the period 1798 - 1921?'

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Introduction

'To what extent did Protestant support for an independent Ireland change in the period 1798 - 1921?' The Union with Britain in 1801 was one of convenience, but only to the minority of the Protestant North who relied on the power of the British empire in economics, law and as Peaple said 'civilising' Ireland and also as S. J. Connolly said 'the indigenous Catholic peasantry.' Since the protestant landlord class settled in Ireland there has been immense strains and grievances, though we cannot say that Protestant support for the Union was always there, due to varying opinions of Irish Nationalists and of the Protestants. Also, the struggle to repeal the 1800 Act of Union succeeded, however the reason for this somewhat over-delayed ending was to a certain extent not the result of Britain's determination to maintain Ireland as part of the empire. When trying to see if Protestant support for an independent Ireland changed then we have to study certain events making close reference to events and particular historical outlooks. ...read more.

Middle

To the majority of British Prime Minister's they saw Ireland as lawless and felt that intervention by force was necessary and Adelman suggests that it was this lack of understanding that caused some of the troubles. Though, Kennedy and Johnson believe that it was the fact that the Protestants "Ruling Ascendancy didn't want to be ruled by Westminster" and they liked to rule themselves. It has been argued that following the post-war recession of 1815, with falling agricultural prices and financial deficit, the Union with Britain was arguably acting as a catalyst for the subsequent state of Ireland's internal decay. It's apparent that Britain was taking everything it could out of Ireland and was giving nothing back and the Ruling elite in Ireland, the Protestants were worried that the British market was out competing the Irish one and thus revenue coming into Ireland was grinding to a halt. Kennedy and Johnson go on to say that this fact online meant that some Protestants questioned the gains of the 'Union' during this period and felt that it 'was a one sided arrangement'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Charles Stewart Parnell, had legitimate control over the Land League, and was also respected amongst the Fenians, and had an able control over a loose coalition of nationalist groups. This meant that he had the majority of the control over the Irish. We can see that when Edward Carson came into power over the unionists, unionism as a political force grew out of Protestant fears that 'Home Rule' would mean 'Rome Rule in reaction to implementation of 'de-Anglicisation' by the Nationalists. It possible to say that the Irish Nationalists split into two distinct sections with Protestant support for an independent Ireland with the notion of a self- governing Ulster Union and those who saw the rebirth of Irish Nationalism as strictly Catholic and therefore supported the Union more strongly for economical and social benefits of the Union. We can say the Protestant support during this time period changes dramatically due to a number of issues but coexistence was never going to be seen in a independent Ireland because of the fundamental issues of religion and lifestyles. ...read more.

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