Why was Ireland partitioned in 1922?

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Why was Ireland partitioned in 1922?

I am writing this essay to try to summaries a number of reasons why   Ireland was partitioned in 1922. Some of the reasons even date back to the 16th century, and some are more recent. I will be exploring the religious and political differences in Ireland in an attempt to explain why it was partitioned.

I will start off by looking at the long term causes. Some of the long term causes that led to Ireland being partitioned in 1922 were:- the Ireland catholic reformation- In the 16th century the Christian church in western Europe split into 2 sections, the protestant faith split away from the Catholic church, Henry VIII created the church of England, but Ireland still remained Catholic, so religious tensions in Ireland started to increase. Also during the rule of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) tensions between Catholics & Protestants grew and grew,Elizabeth also had a problem with Catholic Spain & Phillip II who sent the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth did not trust Catholics in Ireland, and encouraged Protestants to settle in and around Ireland, this was known as the plantation period, mainly all the protestants settled in the north of Ireland in an area called Ulster, this was because in the north there was much better land for farming and growing crops than in the south. And later on, William of Orange came along with his army and won the Londonderry siege, this gave him a chance of getting his army into Ireland, then not so later the 2 sides met at the battle of the Boyne(12.07.1690) which William won and then took drastic measures against the Catholics. Then after William of Orange won the battle of the Boyne, the Penal Laws were introduced against Catholics in 1695, this meant that Catholics could not:- own or buy a property, be educated, work for the government or as a lawyer or become an MP, own a weapon, or vote. All these laws meant that Catholics were reduced to second class citizens.

In this part of the essay I will look at the medium term causes. Some of the medium term causes that led to Ireland being partitioned in 1922 were:- The Potato Famine of Ireland in 1845-51 was a major disaster, in Ireland potatoes were the staple diet of most ordinary people, but then suddenly overnight a disease swept over Ireland which caused the potatoes to start rotting, decaying & crumbling from the inside, so when they were pulled out they were crumbled in little bits this disease was called the blights, most tenant farmers lost about 6 months of food overnight because of the blights, millions of people either starved or emigrated, the Irish were furious because the government from England did too little too late, because the English were not there they did not know how bad the situation really was so they sent no help, this also gave many Irish people the impression that England did not care about Ireland.

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Later on after the potato famine, Catholics were wanting Home Rule, so there were 2 sides set up:- The Nationalists- Irish people wanting home rule(they wanted Ireland to be governed from Dublin and they wanted Ireland to become a separate country from the UK(Nationalists were mainly Catholics) and The Unionists- Irish people that believe Ireland should remain being governed from London and Ireland should remain part of the UK(mainly Protestants).The main aims of the Nationalists were to obtain Home Rule and become a separate country from the UK, their supporters were Parnell, the Fenians, tenant farmers, most middle class Catholics, ...

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