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Why were British troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969? (15 Marks) There has been a history of violence between Catholics and Protestants over

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Introduction

Why were British troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969? (15 Marks) There has been a history of violence between Catholics and Protestants over a long period of time. These being long, short and medium term causes. Historical events in Irish history have played a big part in Ireland today creating difficulties and increased tension. These difficulties increased in the period between 1968-69. The problems in Ireland between Catholics and Protestants stem back from the late 700s onwards. Irish people fought against Viking invaders, and in the twelfth century, Irish chieftains fought against Norman adventurers looking to carve out estates for themselves in Ireland. From the middle Ages, the English monarch governed Ireland but its authority wasn't great. In the sixteenth and seventieth centuries, there were major conflicts between Irish lords and English monarchs trying to gain more control of Ireland. Critics (Protestants) said that the church was out of touch with the lives of ordinary people. At this time Ireland was strongly Catholic and England was Protestant as King Henry 8th broke away from the pope. ...read more.

Middle

It was still part of the British Commonwealth and this was called the partition. All these events led to the events, which happened later on and still today and are an important part in Irish history. I am now going to explain the medium term causes in the 1950's and 60's in Irish history. There were four main problems, economic, political, legal and social. Local councils allocated housing to Protestants, as householders were able to vote in local elections. Therefore many catholic were denied voting rights. However in catholic dominated areas, the reverse happened. In education schools were separated between Catholics and Protestants. This separating from a young age encourages conflict early on in life, which will cause more problems between Catholic sand Protestants. In 1965 a 2nd university was going to be built in Northern Ireland, in Corraine (protestant area) both sides came together but the university wasn't built in the end. The Ulster Unionist party dominated politics. In Londonderry e.g. 14,00 Catholics, where represented by 8 councillors and 12 councillors represented 9000 Protestants. ...read more.

Conclusion

Brain Faulkner resigned (deputy prime minister) in protest arguing that an enquiry would make the situation worse. Out of fear of protestant reprisals of attacks many Catholics barricaded their streets. The UUF (protestant enthusiasts) became more active. They planted a bomb in some waterworks and blamed it on the IRA. Therefore people became more worried about the IRA activity. O'Neill called an election in February 1969 in order to make his position clearer. However he doesn't get a large enough majority because many Protestants support Ian paisley. He had 120,00 out of 230,000 votes. O'Neill realised that he was unable to pass his policies through the Northern Ireland parliament and resigned. On the 12th august 1969 the apprentice boys paraded through the city. Catholics and the RUC fought for three days and 3,500 Catholic families were driven from their homes. Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson on 15th August 1969 ordered British troops to Ireland which had been there firs time since the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. For conclusion, I believe that the role of history brought the British troops back to Ireland. The last straw, (the apprentice boys march) was a celebration of an event, which happened years ago, and today caused trouble. ...read more.

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