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Why were troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969?

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Introduction

History Coursework 3 Why were troops sent into Northern Ireland in 1969? The essay will look at the different factors why the government decided to send in the British troops to Northern Ireland on the 14th August 1969. I will look at the short and long term causes of why the troops were sent and the political, legal, social and religious factors and try to link these together, also I will rank the factors in order of significance. Ending with a conclusion which will summarize all the factors. Northern Ireland was affected by the radical wave which swept the world in 1968. The Civil Rights Movement arose from the changed situation in Northern Ireland and was heavily influenced by the movement internationally. The Catholics were greatly influenced by Dr Martin Luther King, and the American Civil Rights Movements which were going on at about the same time. The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed in response to Unionist discrimination against Catholics. It had five demands: one man, one vote in council elections; ending of gerrymandering of electoral boundaries; machinery to prevent discrimination by public authorities and to deal with complaints; fair allocation of public housing; repeal of Special Powers Act and disbanding of B Specials. With the influence of Martin Luther King it showed the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, James Chichester-Clarke, the Catholics might be able to win the fight for they demands. ...read more.

Middle

Catholic children were not taught anything about Catholicism, they were only taught about Protestant history. Children grew up believing that Catholics were evil and the Protestant religion was the way forward. This made the Catholics become very angry because the Protestants were trying to change them into Protestants and so would make them rebel against the Protestants. The Police in Northern Ireland were 99.9% Protestant and extremely biased and violent towards Catholics, they would attack innocent Catholics for no reason whatsoever. The 'B-Specials' were created - this was a unit within the police, that were 100% Protestant. They were called in by the Unionists, to act like a police force/army. The crimes which they committed were extremely violent and anti Catholics. A fact as to why British troops were sent in to Northern Ireland in 1969 may be due to the fact that the Irish Prime Minister, Jack Lynch was threatening to intervene with the troubles in Northern Ireland, and went as far as moving Irish army units towards the border. The British government may have felt that matters were gradually being taken out of their hands, so the way to regain the power was to send in the troops to take control of both the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland so the Irish Prime Minister wouldn't have to. ...read more.

Conclusion

from the Protestant police gave them the drive, and all of this rage and angry scared the Protestants and English that they might loss control of the Catholics and so that's why the troops were brought in, also the Catholics didn't dislike the British so the Catholics would have been a lot more cooperative then if it was the Protestant police. The short-term causes were that the Catholics were treated unfairly and they wanted a change, the bad housing, worse jobs schools and only Protestant education was taught for the Catholics; they had no power because voting was fixed, gerrymandering, and so they felt help less as there couldn't change anything; also Catholics were losing faith in the government and started to rebel to try and change things. I think that the long term causes/early history of Northern Ireland and Britain was the most important cause as this is where the hatred first develops for both sides; Henry II taking land off Irish Catholics and giving it to English settlers who later on gain all the power; Henry VIII wanting to change the religion from Catholic to Protestant but the Irish Catholics not allowing it; the partition of Ulster even thought the Irish want to keep Ulster as one. The hatred between the two neighbouring countries was built up over the centuries into the conflict of the present day. ...read more.

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