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Why Did the British Troops Go Into Northern Ireland in 1969?

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Introduction

Northern Ireland Coursework- Question 2 Why Did the British Troops Go Into Northern Ireland in 1969? There are many different factors that could be interpreted as reasons why British troops went into Northern Ireland in 1969. Some are long term factors that have been building up for some time and some are short-term factors, which have only recently happened. There are many events of the past which have contributed to the reasons why the troops were sent in, in 1969, firstly the potato famine would of caused a lot of mistrust with the English because they did not give them sufficient food to help them. Also the Easter Rising, a republican rebellion against the British government that began on Easter Monday, April 1916, in Dublin. The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), led by Patrick Pearse along with sections of the Irish Volunteers and James Connolly's socialist Irish Citizen Army, organized the rising. Although it was a military failure, it played a central role in shifting nationalist opinion from allegiance to the legitimate Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) ...read more.

Middle

The two different versions of this story were; the police claimed they tore down the barricade because they were trying to separate the mobs, however the other story was that the Catholics claimed that it was direct attack by police and loyalist mobs on their houses. The rioting continued for days and led to the first no-go area being made. This meant that no one, not even the police, could get in so the only option was to send the troops in. The RUC are the main police force in Northern Ireland, they consisted of mainly Protestants, and many believe they were very biased towards other Protestants and were seen as using their position to discriminate against Catholic Nationalists. The Special Powers Act of 1922 meant that the protestant police could arrest people and keep them in prison without a trial and evidence wasn't necessary to arrest people. For Catholics this was terrible news, this would of made them very angry and bitter. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also some say they were also fighting the Catholics. I think this was the final straw for the British and Irish governments, without this I doubt very much if the troops would have been sent in, in the next 5 years. All the long term and short-term factors all contributed greatly to the reason why the troops were sent in. However I do feel that the Battle of the Bogside especially and the other short-term factors were slightly more important than the long term ones. The Catholics were initially very happy to have the troops in as it meant that they were finally safe to go out of their houses and live a normal life without as much fear as before. On the other hand it could of made the situation worse because groups like the IRA would have been more upset so therefore set off more bombs and make more riots. The Battle of the Bogside was the final cause but the history of violence and conflict resulted in the troops being sent in, and I feel that without the history of violence it wouldn't have resulted in such a major step. 1 Matthew Field ...read more.

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