• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why were British Troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why were British Troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969? In 1969 British Troops were sent into Ireland because Irish police could no longer cope with the violence between the Unionist Protestant population and the Catholic Nationist population. The events that meant it was necessary for British troops to be sent in stretch back a long way. This essay presents the main long term and short term explanations as to why troops were needed. The tensions between Catholic and Protestant citizens had been mounting for many years. During the sixteenth century there was a lot of rivalry between the Catholic Church and Protestants and when King Henry VIII broke away from the Pope and became Protestant, Ireland remained strongly Catholic. This caused conflict as in 1602 Elizabeth I gained control of Ireland. In 1603 King James I planted Protestants in a region of Ireland called Ulster. Various massacres took place, Protestants remember the massacre of Protestant settlers by Irish Catholics in 1641 and Catholics remember the massacre of Catholics troops by Protestant troops in 1649, although these are different events they were both used against the other side, and any fault of their own side was justified, this increases tension between the two and validates hatred. Generally the people in Ulster remained strong to the English crown, these are called Unionists and wanted to stay part of the United Kingdom. ...read more.

Middle

The new generation was being taught by the past generation to continue to hate the person of a different religion. Catholics had less chance of getting housing; the councils used their protestant power to allocate better houses to Protestants. Catholics also had less political power. The police were mainly Protestants and there was the B-specials who were a back up police force that could be called in if needed, they were allowed to keep their own weapons, as they were usually Protestants this worried the Catholics. Elections were fixed so Catholics had little chance of being elected, even though the constitution said all elections should be proportionally represented so minority groups would be fairly represented in Northern Ireland. The Unionists abolished this for local elections. It was also only possible to vote if you were a property owner and as councils made it increasingly difficult for Catholics to get houses, it was harder than ever for Catholics to express their views, and with this it was difficult to change their status at all. As the Catholics and the Protestants lived so separately with little contact they knew very little about each other. Although relations appeared to be improving in the 1950's and 1960's, this broke down along with Northern Ireland's economic prosperity when its old shipbuilding yards and textile industries became out of date. Unemployment increased dramatically and Northern Ireland was in a terrible situation with housing, having some of the worst slum areas in Europe. ...read more.

Conclusion

The actions of the police at the Battle of the Bogside increased the hatred of the Catholics towards the Protestants; they had no real force to protect them from the police themselves apart from the IRA. There was a danger of the violence spreading across the province, disturbances started in many towns, the most serious fighting was in Belfast, the Catholics were attacked by the Protestants who feared their country was under threat; there was a threat of a massacre. James Chichester-Clark had little choice but to call the British Troops into Northern Ireland. The British army was seen as a neutral force, they would not take sides as the RUC did. The Catholics welcomed the forces into Northern Ireland as they knew they now had a force which would not only protect the Protestants. British Troops had not been asked for earlier, as the former Prime Minister O'Neill had expected the situation to resolve itself, Chichester-Clark saw the worst of the protests and found very little option but to call the British troops in to N. Ireland, at first the British troops were reluctant because they feared violence would reach Britain, but in the end they had little choice but to act. There was a lot of hatred in Northern Ireland that had built up over hundreds of years, this tension had developed slowly and the battle of the Bogside, which was the immediate reason forces were sent into N. Ireland, was with the peak of the anger and friction between all the sides. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. Why were the British Troops sent to Northern Ireland in August 1969?

    They thought this would show them in a better light and not as people who don't care. There private reason was because they thought the RUC couldn't keep control and were not doing what they were meant to be doing.

  2. Why was there a change in the levels of tension between Unionists and Nationalists ...

    However, the Unionists were not happy with this. This is because the Unionists would have felt as though the government and the Northern Ireland Secretary wanted a United Ireland. This anger of the Unionists would have led to the paramilitaries becoming angry. Source (X) shows us that there was an increase in the number of deaths in 1974.

  1. Why were British troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969?

    This however did not go down well with the Catholics and in 1641 they began to attack the Protestant settlers, killing between 2000 and 3000 Protestants. Oliver Cromwell and his soldiers read an exaggerated version of the story on the massacres, which said over 150,000 people, were murdered.

  2. The following events have all helped shape the course of Irish history in the ...

    The British Government were trying to consider the facts and work out the true story of the events that led to 'Bloody Sunday'. To this day nobody knows exactly what happened, the British Government were appalled at their own army for opening fire, at such a globally watched riot; they

  1. Why were British troops sent to Northern Ireland in 1969?

    * 'No person of the Catholic religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth in learning within this realm'; repealed in 1782. However, the cause of revolutionary nationalism grew in the 18th and 19th centuries, inspired by successful republican revolutions in the United States and France.

  2. Why were british troops sent into northern ireland in 1969?

    It is very clear to us that Catholics were treated very differently from the Protestants and this also affected 'votes'. Businessmen, mainly Protestant, had more than one vote and many Catholics had none at all. In the Fermanagh county council, there were a total of 52 councilors and 35 were

  1. Why were troops sent to Northern Ireland

    Catholics also had less political power. The police were mainly Protestants and there was the B-specials who were a reserve police force that could be called in if needed, they were allowed to keep their own weapons, as they were usually Protestants, this worried the Catholics.

  2. Why Were British Troops Sent into Northern Ireland in 1969?

    Protestant-Catholic hostility from the Plantations in 1603 still caused major problems. Society divisions meant that they led much separated lives: their separate (biased) educations taught children to frown upon the other sect; their churches preached them to hate the other sect; even workplaces were often exclusively Protestant/Catholic.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work