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Why Were British Troops Sent Into Northern Island In 1969?

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Introduction

Why were British troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969? The police were sent into Northern Ireland for many reasons. All of these factors were important and arose from a climate of fear. One reason was that there was violence. There are many underlying reasons for the violence, but it mainly spread from protestant reactions to catholic civil rights marches. For example the Belfast to Londonderry march on the 4th of January 1969 which was attacked by loyalists, including off duty B Specials (part time police force composed entirely of Protestants). The civil rights marches were started due to discrimination against Catholics practiced by the Ulster government, which had the power to suspend laws pasted in the rest of the UK and used this against the Catholics. ...read more.

Middle

There were acts committed even longer ago, such as in 1649 when Oliver Cromwell's army slaughtered Catholics; 3500 people, including civilians, prisoners and Catholic priests, were killed after the capture of Drogheda. There was also resentment on the protestant side due to the partition of Ireland in 1920. The police weren't adequate to control the violence. The police force was composed almost entirely of Protestants, causing them to sometimes act in a biased way (they did little to stop the stoning of Catholics in the Belfast to Londonderry march). There were also the B Specials, who were completely Protestant, who were involved in many of the attacks on Catholics such as the attack on Bogside in January 1969. People within the British government believed that the troops would be able to control the violence. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fear was an important factor in the introduction of the soldiers. The violence originated from Protestants fearing that if the Catholics got more civil rights it might aid the nationalists who wanted a united Ireland. And the troops were sent in due to fear that civilians would get harmed (like Bernadette Devlin's fears that either Protestants or the police would kill Catholics). Soldiers were sent into Northern Ireland in 1969 due to a combination of factors, all of them important in how they contribute to the decision. There was violence and it was too much for the police to control, so someone else had to control it. The British government sent troops in because they thought it would control the violence and sending soldiers had many precedents. No one factor alone lead to the troops being sent in. GCSE History Coursework Raoul Harris ...read more.

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