Why Trouble Broke Out In Northern Ireland In 1969

In this essay, I am going to write about whether sources D to J include sufficient evidence to explain why troubles broke out in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has had a colourful history dating back to Henry VIII and his reformation. As a Catholic he set up his own church; The Church of England. However he soon wanted to become Protestant so he could divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Berlin; as Catholics believe that you cannot divorce he changed to become a Protestant. Henry VIII then triggers off all the problems by planting.

He kicks out all the Catholics to make room for Protestants in Ireland from good, prosperous lands. This generates the start of conflict in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, in 1649, Oliver Cromwell comes to power, as he is a strict Puritan he feels that everyone else should be Puritan also. Conversely, he hears that Protestants are being treated badly, so he heads of to Drogheda and murders innocent Catholic people in a church. This creates tension and a lot more conflict. In addiction, in the 1800’s Ireland becomes part of the UK, this is known as the Act of Union.

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Tension dramatically increases as Catholics are unhappy and Protestants happy about the partition of Ireland. Troubles increase. In 1845, potato famming occurred, one million people died and another one million immigrated to America (this is when the Fenians started up; these lay the origins of the IRA) and also extreme prejudice increases between Catholics and Protestants and against the British Government. Between 1912-14, there was Home Rule Crisis between Nationalists and Unionists. Nationalists who were generally Catholic wanted one nation leading themselves.

Sinn Fein and the IRA represented Nationalists and the main leaders were Michael Collins and De Valera. On the other hand, unionists were mainly Protestants who wanted to stay with England, they mainly live in the North of Ireland and they believed in non-violence; especially the Ulster Unionists, whereas the Ulster Freedom Fighters believed in violence to get their way. Carson was their main leader. In 1916, Easter Rising occurred, suddenly people became more patriotic and murals appeared out.

The IRB is revived by De Valera and rebellion broke out trying to take control of Dublin’s main buildings, they failed and leaders were executed, which means greater support for nationalism and the IRB. In 1922, tension still increased in Ireland with the Partiton in Ireland occurring. Unionists and Nationalists movements emerged with both movements arming themselves to achieve their aims. Following a bitter war, the British MP Government partitioned Ireland and created Northern Ireland. In 1939, WW2 breaks out and civilians were affected, everyone soon joins forces and prospers.

Poverty in Ireland has reduced for the time being. The Welfare State (NHS) was set up which included Ireland predominately and Northern Ireland had improvements in education and employment. Tension here has decreased, but inequalities are still evident. In the 1960’s, Civil Rights (especially in America) emerged and it drew attention to Northern Ireland. There was a still huge inequality with housing education and the law. Further still in 1967, Nicra is set up. It is a peaceful group that want to raise awareness on equal rights with peaceful demonstrations, with the Derry Housing Committee taking part.

Their main method of raising awareness was to demonstrate marches. In source D, a Roman Catholic describes her school days. It has been adapted from B. Devlin, the Price of My Soul in 1969. The source tells me that the school she was educated in was taught an exclusive Irish History and it was a very patriotic school. Conversely, the source does not tell you that in 1969 internment occurred and 2/3 of Catholics arrested, also the source does not tell you about the British Forces sent in Ireland and the march which turned into riots and violence because it is about the long term causes of trouble.

I feel this source is reliable because it shows you how prejudice evident towards Protestants , but also it is not very reliable because the source could be one sided as it is from a very pro-Catholic school and also it is based upon one person’s experiences. The intended audience of Source D would be Irish families, particularly Catholics. The source is an important source because it is a teacher influencing young children’s minds which triggers of a long term consequence of the divide between Catholics and Protestants.

It shows that people cannot forget what has happened to their families overnight, leading to different interpretations on ‘Bloody Sunday’. Source E is a protestant cartoon from the 19th century, showing Ireland bound in ropes by a Catholic priest. The source shows Ireland being taken over by Catholics. The source uses a stereotypical Irish girls name; Erin and it seems to be that the Catholic priest is telling Ireland off for being protestant. The source is a negative Catholic propaganda and it also shows Ireland and Protestants being prisoner of the Catholics.

The source does not show however, that the Protestants were planted in Ireland and took good Catholic land. It could be suggested that the intended audience is Irish people, especially those of Catholicism. I feel that the source is not very reliable because it appears to be one sided to the Catholics dominating over the Protestants. Furthermore, publishing the cartoon would definitely create more tension because Protestants would feel angry that it suggests that Catholics have more power over them. This would create a long term cause into why troubles broke out.

A catholic looking at the cartoon I feel would be proud that there religion is rising above Protestants and they have a hold over Protestants. In addition, in source F, a map is showing the Gerrymander in Derry in 1966. The source shows that roughly 2/3 of the population were Catholics and they refused boundary commissioners for they were being stubborn and passive resistance. However, in my opinion, I believe that I would be a good idea for the Catholics to become boundary commissioners and that Gerrymander would be a fair situation. I think that the source is reliable because it is based on fact not opinion.

However from my own studies I know that the Boundary Commission is an official government job that is not representative any longer because of Catholics unwilling to participate in it. The Catholics did not take part in the Boundary Commission, as they could not forget the past and they refused to become boundary commissioners. Overall, I feel that this source does give sufficient evidence as it shows the population between Catholics and Protestants and it shows how much strain and tension there is between Catholics and Protestants, to offer a sufficient explanation for 1969 and to why Nicra were so popular.

To continue, in source G it shows Protestant images of Catholic attacks on Protestants in 1641. It is a drawing form a Protestant text book. The source tells of English Protestants stripped naked and turned into the mountains in the forest and snow. Many perished to death and many lay dead in ditches. Savages also scalded them. Conversely, the source portrays the Catholics to look bad but it is not all the information in this source; as Cromwell in 1642 went to Drogheda and massacred innocent Catholic in a church.

I think that source G is a piece of propaganda and there is no factual evidence of Catholics torturing Protestants whilst they were naked. The intended audience are protestant school children as the drawing is in a textbook. This shows the Protestants to appear weaker and vulnerable to attack. I think that this source does give some indication to why troubles broke out in 1969 as tension would increase knowing that young children are taught about the crucial divide between religions.

This source is in contrast to source D but has similarities because they both teach young minds about different religions in a bad light and are very one sided, they could show hatred. Source H is a photograph and it shows RUC officers strike a civil rights marcher on 5th October 1968. The source shows the RUC beating someone with a baton. There are three police men hitting one marcher. However, the source lacks a lot of vital information into why the marcher was being beaten up and who took the photo for what purpose. The snapshot could be shop element for newspapers or the beaten marcher could be undercover IRA.

Since the source is a snapshot it might not be reliable as it could be staged and lacks a lot of information. Furthermore, the source does not tell you that in 1968 it was when the second march turned violent. I feel that the intended audience is everyone as it might be published in newspapers in particular. Even though the source does not give sufficient evidence, I do believe that it would give a strong idea into why troubles broke out. As the snapshot would leave people wanting to know answers causing more tension in Ireland.

Also, shows how protestors were dealt with; this might cause a backlash and explains into why troubles broke out. To conclude my analysis of the sources, source I shows crowd violence as Loyalists ambush Civil Rights marchers at Burntollet in January 1969. It is a photograph. The source shows a patriotic picture as a British flag is shown. There are the RUC police there and it appears to show the start of rioting. The source however, does not seem to show that in January 1969 the third march took place with violence and rioting, also internment occurred in result of the march and more British soldiers were sent into Ireland.

I don’t think the source is reliable because it does not show what happened before and after the picture. It also doesn’t show or say who took the picture and why. Source I could not be either fact or opinion because the photograph may be staged, so the source is not reliable. I think this source is not sufficient enough to explain why troubles broke out in 1969, but shows the level of tension between the different groups and how a peaceful march could turn violent and the extent of tension by 1916.

Finally, I believe that sources D to I do not show enough sufficient evidence to explain why troubles broke out in Northern Ireland in 1969. I believe this because many of the sources raise more questions rather than they answer. For instance, source I raises questions to audiences into what made the march turn violent. Furthermore, many of the sources are one sided; sources D and G prove how school children are taught about the major divide between Catholics and Protestants by issuing photo’s, pictures, text about the other religion in a negative way in school text books.

Together, the sources give the reader a slight understanding into why troubles broke out in 1969, but they do not give a sufficient amount for the reader to fully understand why troubles did break out. As Northern Ireland has had a colourful history, dating back to 1649, I consider that six sources would not be able to explain in great detail the full consequences into why troubles broke out in 1969; as Northern Ireland’s history is far too complex.

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