Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland

The area now known as Northern Ireland has had a diverse history. From serving as the bedrock of Irish resistance in the era of the plantations of Queen Elizabeth and  in other parts of Ireland, it became itself the subject of major planting of  and  settlers after the  in 1607 (when the native Gaelic  fled to  ).

The all-island  (1541-1800) merged into the  in  under the terms of the , under which the kingdoms of  and  merged under a central parliament, government and monarchy based in . In the early 20th century , led by , opposed the introduction of  in Ireland.  were in a minority on the island of Ireland as a whole, but were a majority in the northern province of , and a very large majority in the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down and Londonderry, with substantial numbers also concentrated in the nationalist-majority counties of Fermanagh and Tyrone. These six counties, containing an overall unionist majority, would later form Northern Ireland.

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The clash between the  and  of the controversial budget of  , produced the  which enabled the veto of the Lords to be overturned. Given that the Lords had been the unionists' main guarantee that a home rule act would not be enacted, because of the majority of pro-unionist peers in the House, the Parliament Act made  a likely prospect in Ireland. Opponents to Home Rule, from  leaders like  and  to militant unionists in Ireland threatened the use of violence, producing the  incident in 1912, when they smuggled thousands of rifles and rounds of ammunition from  for the . Randolph Churchill ...

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