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Реферат The Irish Question (Ирландский вопрос)

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Текст реферата 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 selfgoverning 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
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.