• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What Events Made The Signing Of The Good Friday Agreement Possible?

Extracts from this document...


What Events Made The Signing Of The Good Friday Agreement Possible? In this essay I will look into the reasons that the political and religious climate was right to allow the signing of the Good Friday Peace Agreement. I believe it was because of a number of reasons: how the Agreement itself lead to it's signing; comparison with previous agreements; the role of key individuals; the role of the international community; the role of ordinary people and; the attitude of religious and political factors. Of these factors I believe the most important one to be the last, the attitude of religious and political factors at the time leading up to the signing. The problem before the signing was that there was widespread violence and civil disorder. There were many religious problems between Protestants and Catholics causing fear, mistrust and anger. The economy in Northern Ireland was failing and a very bad crop caused widespread famine which England did little to help, leading to the view that "God sent the potato blight, the British Government sent the famine". ...read more.


and the Downing Street Declaration(1993). The main points of the Sunningdale Agreement were to undermine support for the IRA, give the Nationalist community a say in Northern Island, stop Nationalists turning to the IRA and to offer peaceful help to Catholics in Northern Island. It failed mainly because of a Unionist strike encouraged by Loyalist paramilitaries, MP's resignations and the continuation of Direct Rule. Following the attack on a Brighton hotel that almost killed Mrs. Thatcher in 1984, the Anglo - Irish Agreement was initiated to try and stop the IRA's campaign of violence. This failed because the violence did not stop and the IRA was still active. The Downing Street Declaration was to stop extremist groups on both sides and to please the ordinary civilians that wanted a stop to violence. It also failed because the violence didn't stop. From these failures it was possible to realise that one reason that the previous agreements had failed was that they did not include the paramilitaries in the talks, by including them violence could be drastically decreased. ...read more.


The role of ordinary people in Northern Ireland also helped pave the way to peace. People like Betty Williams (Peace People) and Gordon Wilson (daughter was killed in Enniskillen bombing) tried to increase understanding between communities. The attitude of religious and political factors, I believe, was the main point that made it possible for the signing of the agreement to go ahead. The politicians were relatively calm and no major incidents had happened recently. Religious attitudes were starting to accept partition and view it as, not a 'necessary evil', but one which was 'here to stay'. Because of this and the fact that people were not at each other's throats the level of understanding and acceptance was high enough to allow the signing of the Good Friday Peace Agreement. In conclusion, as I said earlier in my essay, I believe that the most important point is that the attitudes of politicians and the church were 'chilled out' enough to allow the signing of the agreement. Thomas Hall 11DC 5.11.03 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. Northern Ireland - The Good Friday Agreement was created in April 1998, and then ...

    the basis of consent, freely and concurrently given, north and south, to bring about a united Ireland, if that is their wish." The Declaration managed to include the Unionist principle of consent and the Nationalist principle of self-determination. The impacts of the Declaration are that Ian Paisley called the Declaration a sell-out to Dublin.

  2. What made the Good Friday Agreement possible in 1998?

    At this time, Sinn Fein was also losing a lot of votes because the voters seemed to want less and less violence and the SDLP were gaining more votes at Sinn Fein's expense. And so as a result, Sinn Fein did agree to adopt more peaceful methods.

  1. How realistic is a United Ireland in the context of past and present events? ...

    The united Ireland would be economically stronger than two separate countries; Ireland would then have a bigger industry and be able to support themselves. There would have to be fully fair elections but there might be cases of Gerry Mandering so that people try to fix votes and select a parliament or government that people don't want.

  2. The Good Friday Agreement

    As well as this, many Catholics and Nationalists were reluctant to join the RUC in fear of facing harassment from Republicans. So, the Good Friday Agreement did make the policing better, but did not manage to gain the trust of the Nationalists, therefore not completely bringing an end to this area of trouble.

  1. Describe and explain Unionist reactions to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998

    This made Sinn Fein sign the agreement. Under intense pressure from Tony Blair, President Clinton and Bertie Ahern (Blair's Irish opposite), Ireland parties reached an agreement on Good Friday, 10 April 1998. This document agreed upon by all parties is not only called the Good Friday Agreement, but the Belfast Agreement also.

  2. To what extent does the "Good Friday Agreement" represent a turning point for the ...

    Although Direct Rule was only meant to have a temporary peace in the world of Irish politics, it lasted for twenty-five years. During these twenty-five years between 1973 and 1993, three major political initiatives took place, which proves that the politicians did not give up.

  1. Ireland coursework-Part AIreland has had a lot of trouble over the years for many ...

    in to these people, Martin McGuinness, the chief negotiator for Sinn Fein, said: "This appalling act was carried out by those opposed to the peace process. It is designed to wreck the process and everyone should work to ensure the peace process continues."

  2. Explain why the marching season in Northern Ireland still causes tension between the two ...

    James became king of England in 1685 but was expelled from the throne in 1688. Instead of leaving quietly and forgetting about England, he ran to France, to his friend Louis who was then king of France. He then with the help of Louis, gathered a big army of French soldiers and took them to Ireland.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work