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Why and how did the north east of Ireland diverge from the rest of Ireland in the later nineteenth century?

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Introduction

Why and how did the north east of Ireland diverge from the rest of Ireland in the later nineteenth century? To prove that there was a definite diverges of the North east from the rest of Ireland, there is a need to look at the events and changes that took place up until the actual partician in 1920. To examine how it affected both north and south and to investigate the methods used by Unionists to achieve their goals. The Home Rule period saw an increasingly strong line being drawn between the Northeast and the rest of the country. This was caused firstly by the Electoral Franchise opened up by the British in 1884 and 1885 to include much of the working class. (1) The result was more Catholics could vote than ever before and that the power of the elections was changing. The southern Protestants from Leinster, Munster and Connaught were wealthy landlords, business men and large tenant farmers, and although they were economically powerful they were in minority compared with the north. Therefore unionists who were opposed to Home Rule would be in majority were there were other Protestants. ...read more.

Middle

His famous Slogan was; 'Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right'. (5) Churchill's plan was to use the Orange Order to help unite the Protestants in Ulster against Home Rule. At this point Ulster politics became reshaped along sectarian lines. Rallies and demonstrations were organised by the Orange Order, claiming or using God as the defender of the Union. Consequently in the 1886 elections 17 Unionists were elected in Ulster and in the rest of Ireland nationalists swept the board. The two main factors that lay behind this development were religion and economy. First the religion aspect that Protestants were in majority in the North east only and in minority in the south. And secondly the economic development of the north east of Ireland, especially the growth of Belfast, placed industrial wealth of Ulster behind Unionism. Ulster business leaders were mainly protestant and believed that the union was vital to Belfast's prosperity. E. J. Saundersons means of defence against the schemes of Gladstone and the pope would be the Orange Order. He provided the nucleus of the initial Ulster Unionist resistance. Saunderson knew what he wanted and threatened violence to get it. The Pall Mall Gazette in late May 1886, published a lead piece 'Is Civil War in Sight?' ...read more.

Conclusion

Ulster Protestants also tried to obstruct the amount of economic subsidy, which Ulster would have to let go of to the rest of the country if Home Rule won. The leaders of the Irish Home Rule proposals seemed likely to adopt trade protectionism, which would have bankrupted much of Ulster's industrial base. The strength of opposition is evidenced in the fact that 471,000 Ulster Protestants signed, in a single day in 1912, a covenant which Sir James Craig introduced declaring their wish to be excluded from Home Rule. This became known as Ulster day. However given the fact that Ulster would certainly fight relentlessly to resist Home Rule, that day was very peaceful considering the tensions. Finally the death of Home Rule would free the Irish Protestants from the restraints of political cohesion so in the 1920's partition of Ireland seemed the best answer, at the time? And as the struggle between Nationalists and Unionists continue as Unionists try to keep their British identity and Nationalists struggle to keep themselves Irish. No one knows where it all will end and will it ever be resolved? All we know is that Northern Ireland is what it is today because of Home rule and as the two organisations check mate we stay as we are. 1 Christina Moore year 2 History (1559 words) 1 ...read more.

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