Рефераты The Irish Question (Ирландский вопрос)

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The Irish Question (Ирландский вопрос)
Moscow 1998
07.05.98
The Irish Question

Moscow
State Pedagogical University


Snigir Aleksei



The Plan:


1. The position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom


2. British policy towards Northern Ireland


3. Theories of political violence in the Northern Ireland conflict



I The Position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom



The inhabitants of Ireland are mainly Celtic by origin, and the majority
never accepted the Reformation. In 1801 a new law added Ireland to the
United Kingdom. By this time much of the land belonged to Protestant
English landlords, and the Act of Union followed the period in which
rebellions peasants were brutally suppressed. But in the six Northern
Counties the Protestants were not a dominant minority: they were the
majority of the population. Most of them were descendants of Scottish and
English settlers who had moved into Ireland several generations before.
They considered themselves to be Irish but remained as a distinct
community, and there was not much intermarriage. There had been conflicts
and battles between the two communities, still remembered along with their
heroes and martyrs.

In 1912, when the liberals were in power, with the support of the main
group of Irish MPs (for Ireland had seats in the UK parliament). The
House of Commons passed a Home Rule Bill, but the House of Lords delayed
it. It was bitterly opposed by the Protestant majority of the people in
the six northern counties and by the M Ps they had elected. They did not
want to be included in a self-governing Ireland dominated by Catholics.

Eventually, the island was partitioned. In 1922 the greater part became an
independent state, and (in 1949) a republic outside the Commonwealth. Its
laws, on divorce and other matters, reflect the influence of the Catholic
Church. The six northern counties remained within the United Kingdom, with
seats in Prime Minister and government responsible for internal affairs. In
the politics of Northern Ireland the main factor has always been the
hostility between Protestants and Catholics

Until 1972 the Northern Irish Parliament (called Stormont) always had a
Protestant majority. By 1960s Catholics produced serious riots. The
police were mainly Protestants. They used their guns. Several people were
killed. The UK Labour government of the time had sympathy with the
Catholics grievances. The Protestant parties regularly supported the
Conservatives, while some MPs elected for Catholic parties took little or
no part in the work of the Parliament.

In 1969 the UK Labour Government sent troops to Northern Ireland, with
others to help impartially to keep order. But to most Catholics UK troops
have become identified with the Union of Northern Ireland with the UK.
Many Catholics don’t like the idea of the division of the island, but
recognize that the union of the North with the Republic could only be
imposed against the wishes of the majority in the North, and would probably
lead to a civil war. Less moderate Catholics have some sympathy with their
own extremists, the Irish Republican Army [IRA], who are prepared to use
any means, including violence, in support of the demand to be united with
the Republic of Ireland.

In 1969-72 the UK governments, first Labour, then Conservative, tried to
persuade the Protestant politicians to agree to changes which might be
acceptable to the Catholics, but made little progress. In 1972 the UK
government decided that the independent regime could not solve its
problems, and put an end to it. Since then the internal administration has
been run under the responsibility of the UK cabinet. In political terms
this decision of Mr
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