Political History of Ireland Research Papers
The political conflicts in Northern Ireland originate from many different sources. The complex issues have greatly affected the British colony for many centuries. A research paper on any aspect of the political history of Ireland and it will review the conflicts, primarily since 1920.
- After a brief summary of the geography of Northern Ireland, the two main political parties and their perspectives will be explained.
- Next, theories of the cause of the conflict will be covered, as will proposed solution.
- Finally, the steps toward peace in the last decade will be explained.
Since 1920 Northern Ireland has been a part of the United Kingdom, however geographically it is located on the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland has six counties and the population is over 1.5 million. Formally known as Ulster, after the former province, its capital city is Belfast. Northern Ireland comprises only one-sixth of the land mass of the island, measuring 110 miles east and west, and 85 miles north and south.
The history of the conflict in Ireland originated, many believe, in the 16th century, when Irish Catholics were forced to leave the North. England moved Presbyterians from Scotland and Northern England to replace the Catholics. This moved was intended to populate Northern Ireland with docile, compliant residents. However, the original Catholics did not succumb quietly, and eventually attempted to move back home. Until recently, Unionists decorated their streets every July 12th to celebrate the 1620 victory of William III, a protestant, over the Catholic James II.
Today, the term used by most citizens of Northern Ireland to describe the political conflict is “the Northern Irish problem.” Unfortunately, this term has little meaning because the problem is perceived differently depending on the points of view of the participants. Some of the population would like to see the restoration of a united Ireland, while others prefer to remain tied to the United Kingdom. This core conflict has been made complicated by decades of violence as well as differences in political beliefs. In addition, the disparity between the rich and the poor has added to the conflict. In the 1800’s the standard of living in the north rose as industry flourished. The south was owned mostly by the Protestants, resulting in poverty for Catholics.