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Why was Ireland partioned in 1922?

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Introduction

Why was Ireland Partitioned in 1922? In this essay I will be writing about the causes of the partitioning in Ireland in 1922. There are a variety of causes that led to the partitioning. I am going to be writing about the short, medium and the long-term causes, and explaining in detail why these were important and what each cause led to. There are a number of long-term causes that led to the partitioning of Ireland. The first being the Reformation; During the 16th century, when Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and replaced the Pope as head of the Church of England so England became a protestant country whilst Ireland remained Catholic and most Irish people saw the Pope in Rome as the head of the 'true' church. This was important because conflict then arose between English Monarchs and Irish Leaders through the century. This led to further tension when Elizabeth came to the throne, as she was worried that the Irish leaders might support a Spanish invasion of England. As a result of her concern she decided to plant Protestants into Ireland. This was called Plantation. Elizabeth I chose Protestants to settle in Ulster, NI (Northern Ireland). Ulster was a very suitable place for the Protestants to settle as it was fertile land and it had good natural resources. The Protestants secured control and took their best land. This meant that the Irish Catholics became very angry and caused uproar, because they were being pushed off their own land and being swamped by Protestants. ...read more.

Middle

This almost led to a Civil War but was stopped by World War One. From 1890-1916 the Irish started to become more interested in their culture, history and language. This leads to The Gaelic Revival. As part of the Gaelic Revival, the Gaelic League published English and Irish world old and new. It also ran classes in the Irish Language. The Gaelic Athletic Association re-established traditional Irish sports such as Gaelic football and hurling. These were not political organizations, but they were often the place where more extreme Nationalists met and recruited new members. As it was felt that the British were trying to wipe out all traces of Irish culture, it was important for the Irish to retain it. This led to religious tensions between the Catholics and Protestants. At the same time, working class movements were growing in both England and Ireland. James Connolly, who was one of the most important socialists' leaders, believed that Ireland should become an independent state so that it could become a fair independent socialist society. The socialist movement was strongly linked to nationalism. England were starting to get worried that Ireland were coming together and trying to break free from the Union, and they didn't want this to happen. This led to bitter, vicious dock strike on Dublin in 1913. The importance of this strike led James Connolly to create the Irish Citizen Army to defend the strikers and protesters in the regular street battles with the police. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was forced to call a truce in 1922. He decided enough was enough and declared that Ireland was going be partitioned and British troops were ordered to leave Ireland completely. The partitioned happened in 1922, the Irish Freestate became independent like the Nationalists wanted and the Republic of Ireland was declared where 65% of Unionists, they had to swear their allegiance to the monarch. To conclude, there were many causes towards the final partition of Ireland in 1922. The long-term causes included reformation, plantation, penal laws and direct rule. The medium-term causes included potato famine, home rule, 1912-14 crises and the Gaelic revival. And finally the short-term causes included the Easter rising, Rise of Sinn Fein, Anglo-Irish War and the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In my opinion, The Easter rising was the most important cause of the partitioning of Ireland. This is because it seemed to be the one that triggered all of the hatred between England and Ireland, the IRA and the IRC, and the Nationalists and the Unionists. I think it showed the English what they were up against and especially when Sinn Fein started to get the sympathy vote and started to gain seats in parliament. Also the fact that the British executed the leaders did not help them further along the line particularly when Sinn Fein decided to ignore their rules and start up their own unofficial parliament. All in all I feel that it was a good decision to partition Ireland. Even though it didn't solve all of the problems, it certainly did solve a lot of them and it created peace amongst the majority of the population. Elizabeth Farnes 24th October 2008 History Coursework Mr.Tillot ...read more.

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