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Why were British troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969?

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Introduction

Why were British troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969? For centuries there has been conflict in Northern Ireland. The disagreement between Irish Catholics and the Irish Protestants still continues to this day. Between 1921 and the mid 1960s Catholics in Northern Ireland faced many problems. After the War Of Independence, in 1919, the country of Ireland was divided into two parts; The North, here there was a large Protestant Majority, each of the six Ulster counties had their own parliament and their own government. The South, largely occupied by Irish Catholics, most of which were opposed the idea of dividing Ireland. The conflict between Northern Ireland is part of a larger conflict with a long-term history these factors may have contributed these factors were the reformation in 1517 the being of the protestant church but I think the plantation, the introduction of the penal laws were major factors that caused hatred between each religion, also with the arrival of Cromwell caused more bitterness as Cromwell and his troops massacred both soldiers and innocent people in the counties of Drogheda and Wexford, the remainder of Catholics ...read more.

Middle

The British Army was to be removed but Northern Ireland was to be kept a part of the United Kingdom and a Boundary Commission would decide on the exact border between the North and South. Northern Ireland was in Protestant control. In the Northern Ireland parliament there was always a majority of Unionist MP's, even when the Protestants were in a minority. The control was established in local councils by only restricting the vote to householders and property owners. Boundaries were reconstructed to contain the highest possible number of Unionist councillors. This was a method called "gerrymandering". Catholics were treated with no respect and were left to live in poverty. The living conditions were terrible and efforts were made to put the situation, affected by gerrymandering, right. The new Prime Minister of Northern Ireland promised there would be reforms to help the Catholics, but they were slow to come into action, most Catholics were not given job opportunities, if a Protestant and a catholic applied for the same job, no matter how qualified the Catholic was, the Protestant would always get the job. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Catholics felt very threatened and realised they were to get no help from the police so they barricaded themselves in Derry's Bogside area. The situation worsened and the march by the Apprentice Boys which passed by the Catholic Bogside brought huge amounts of violence to the streets, this resulted in the "Battle of Bogside". Riots and violence escalated and the new Prime Minister of Northern Ireland asked the Government of Westminster to send in troops to restore the order. The Downing Street Declaration was published on 19 August 1969 to calm the fears of the Northern Ireland population; it stated "...there shall be full equality of treatment for all citizens." The Catholics were happy when the troops were sent into Northern Ireland because they were seen as their protectors. From the information in this essay I can conclude that the reason the British troops were sent in was part of a long-term history. Ireland was partitioned in 1920 after a long period of violence between the Protestants and the Catholics. This was expected to bring an end to the hostility, but in fact the relations between them got worse, so eventually the troops had to be sent in. ...read more.

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