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Irelands Governmental Policies on the Iris Republican Army - Essay Example

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Irelands Governmental Policies on the Iris Republican Army

Their land was confiscated and distributed amongst the British soldiers as the promised recompense.
To have a firm social and political control over the newly annexed territories, British rule adopted a unique policy of 'plantation' of settlers from England, Wales and Scotland, with far-reaching consequences. All classes of settlers brought their kith and kin to Ireland banishing the native Catholic population into the mountains. The Protestant settler thus marginalized Catholic Irish Nationalists and grew into the majority community mainly in Northern Ireland. In about 65 years the Catholic population was reduced to almost a quarter (Appendix 'A') 2. The end result was foisting a foreign community on the northern parts of Ireland, which spoke a different language, represented an alien culture and way of life who enforced repugnant land laws. With the partition of the island in 1921 Ulster became a Protestant dominated area while the rest of the island was having Catholic majority. This created the 'triple minority' scenario (Cunningham 9) 3, a verdant ground for social conflicts. The native Catholics found themselves a minority in the newly created Northern Ireland, while Protestants turned into a minority in the Republic of Ireland as a whole. None wish to lose their domination and to avoid becoming a minority opposed formation of Republic of Ireland. And finally, within the United Kingdom as such, the Irish were a minority compared to the English majority. Thus a 'triple minority' scenario was shaping the future course of events. Such a situation instills fear of victimization in any minority community. The seeds of the conflict were thus sown in the fertile plantations of Ulster during early 18th century where incongruous groups of people cohabited backstabbing one another.
The Stakeholders

There are many organizations involved with the destiny of the British Isles. A study of them will be useful to fully understand their role in the conflict. These interested groups can be broadly divided into three - The British Govt., The Unionists and The Nationalists.

Unionists. They believed in a unified nation of the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Irelandand' and opposed Home Rule but eventually settled for the state of Northern Ireland. The unionist main political party was the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), which ruled Northern Ireland from 1921 to 1972. Another political outfit was the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which was extremely anti-nationalist but was not very popular with the voters. Both were against the involvement of the Irish Republic in Northern Ireland affairs and were not willing to share power with non-Unionist parties. Later stages they were also highly suspicion of Britain's motives in Northern Ireland.

Nationalists. The Nationalists believed in a unified Ireland. Their main political party was the Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP), which contested the Nationalist vote bank with Sinn Fein, the political arm of the militant Irish Republican Army (IRA). The SDLP accepted the constitutional stipulation requiring majority support of Northern Ireland for unification. The other nationalist party Sinn Fein, which greatly influenced the course of events, believed in violent ...Show more


More than a century after the Norman Conquest of England, Henry II of England started his campaign to annex Ireland (Darby) 1. He succeeded in establishing control in a small area around Dublin. In the seventeenth century during the reign of Queen Elizabeth military conquest of Ireland was almost complete except the principal northern province of Ulster…
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Irelands Governmental Policies on the Iris Republican Army essay example
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