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Posted by12 days ago
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Posted by3 months ago
The Ireland Conflict

Alternative title: if you thought the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was complicated...

To understand the Ireland conflict and the split between Ireland & Northern Ireland we need to go all the way back to the 12th century (1100ad).

  • William the conqueror 1066 - 1087 - Normans took over England & invaded Ireland

  • Henry II King of England (1154 - 1189) - with the authorization of Pope Adrian IV, to strengthen the Papacy’s control over the Irish Church, landed in Ireland in 1171, and took control of large parts of Ireland. And in the following year, the Lordship of Ireland was created in which the Lord of Ireland (title for a ruler?) was also the King of England.
    The Lordship of Ireland was a Papal Possession held by the King of England. (this becomes important later when England turns away from the Catholic religion).

  • late 1400ad - Officially the lordship of Ireland ruled over all of Ireland but in reality they controlled mush less then that and over the decades and centuries that control diminished and by the late 15th century (1400ad) English rule was limited to an area known as The Pale.

The Pale. English control at the late 15th century
  • In the 16th century (1500ad) the pope refused Henry VIII King of England request to divorce to Catherine of Aragon (divorces wasn't the accepted norm all the way to around the mid 20th century, 1950). This caused Henry VIII to quit The Catholic Church/religion and establish the Church of England also known as the protestants with his as a leader of course.
    *Player2 has entered the game*

  • The lordship of Ireland is a Papal possession by the pope/Catholic Church. This was solved in 1542 after an Act of Irish Parliament, Henry VIII was proclaimed King of Ireland and the title lordship of Ireland became The kingdom of Ireland but Henry VIII was excommunicated by the Catholic Church so was not recognized by the Catholic powers (like European countries)

  • Edward VI (Protestant) 1547 - 1553 - With the death of Henry VIII his son got the throne at the age of 9 but died of illness at the age of 15

  • Mary I (Catholic) 1553 - 1558 - The next to the throne and 20 years older and therefor Catholic was Mary I. Because she was Catholic she was recognized as the Queen of Ireland (All the island was mostly Catholics)

  • 1603 - After the death of Queen Elizabeth I and the last of the Tudor Dynasty, James VI became King of England because:

    • he was the son of Mary I

    • he's the great-great-grandson of Henry VII (They keep such records)

  • (...continued) He was therefore known as James I King of England, and King of Ireland This was known as the Union of the Crowns in which Scotland, England and Ireland all shared a common monarch

  • in 1609 (under James I rule) the Plantation of Ulster was a process by which Scottish and English settlers confiscated land from the Gaelic Irish. This was seen as a way to stop rebellion in the north, as Ulster had been a region of Ireland most resistant to English Rule. the Plantation of Ulster was by far the most successful, and within just a few decades, the Protestant colonist population was thriving, and even made-up a majority in some areas in the north. (This is what today is Northern Ireland)

The Spread of Protestants in Ireland
  • 1641 - Irish Catholics in Ulster staged a rebellion against the settlers, which led to the Irish Confederate Wars between the Irish Catholic Confederation and the Scottish and English settlers. Most of the island of Ireland was under de facto Irish Catholic rule for a several years.

  • Oliver Cromwell 1649 - 1658 - and his New Model Army conquered Ireland, after overthrowing the English Monarchy, executing King Charles I, and declaring himself Lord Protector of Scotland, England and Ireland. Cromwell ruled over the three kingdoms until his death in 1658. During this time there was more confiscation of land from Native Catholics, and anyone even suspected of being involved in the 1641 rebellion was executed.

  • Charles II (Protestant) 1660 - 1685

  • James II (Catholic) 1685 - 1688 - Son of Charles II but converted to Catholicism during his time in French. The majority in Scotland & England were Protestant and were uneasy with James II.

    • Next in line to the throne was Mary (Protestant because the late brother/former king demanded she be raised as such)

    • This changed in 1688 with the Birth of his son James III who'll be raised as a Catholic and any son of his would be placed before Mary in the line of succession.

    • So this seemed as if Scotland & England would have a Catholic monarchy for the foreseeable future

  • The birth of James III (Catholic) sparked the glorious revolution in which the two major political parties invited William of Orange to invade England and take the throne William successfully defeated his father-in-law… who also happened to be his uncle since William and Mary were first cousins… and they took the throne together as William III and Mary II King and Queen of England.

William III & Mary II
  • William III (Protestant) 1689 - 1702 & Mary II 1689 - 1694
    With a Catholic majority this wasn't well received and started a war in Ireland between the native Irish led by James II, who were mainly Catholic against the Kingdoms and Scotland and England (Protestant).
    King William won and for the next century, Catholic majority Ireland was ruled by a Protestant minority, known as the Protestant Ascendancy.
    Penal laws introduced during the Protestant Ascendancy:

    • Exclusion of Catholics from most public offices.

    • Ban on Intermarriages with Protestants.

    • Catholics barred from holding firearms.

    • Bar from membership in the parliament of Ireland.

    • Roman Catholic prohibited from voting.

    • Ban on Catholics buying land under a lease of more then 31 years.

    • Ban on Catholics inheriting Protestant land.

    • Prohibition on Catholics owning a horse valued at over £5.

  • 1707, the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England joined to create the Kingdom of Great Britain

Kingdom of Scotland & Kingdom of England


United together to form the Kingdom of Great Britain
  • 1798 - another uprising against British rule in Ireland this one is inspired by the French revolution a decade earlier. The rebellion failed, but caused a lot of uncertainty on the political situation of Ireland. There were concerns that Ireland could ally themselves with France and break away from British rule.

  • So in 1801, Ireland joined the Union, and became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland


United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland
  • (...continued) Opposition to the Union was strong, and occasionally escalated into violence.

  • Late 19th century (1800) saw a rise in demand for self-government

    • 1886 the first Home Rule was proposed. In response to this, the Liberal Unionist Party was created, in support of the Union, and opposed to Irish Home Rule. The Bill failed.

    • 1892 second bill proposal fails again

    • 1914 3rd home rule bill passes but was put on hold due to World War I

  • WWI 1916 - Irish Republicans staged a rebellion in Dublin, called the Easter Rising, with a goal of putting an end to British rule in Ireland, and establish an Irish Republic. The rebellion lasted a few days & 500 dead, mostly civilians. But British with superior numbers the result was an unconditional surrender by the rebel forces, and most of the rebel leaders were executed.

  • 1918 UK General Elections - An Irish political party called Sinn Féin, who supported Irish independence, and many of their members had participated in the Easter Rising, won 73 of 105 Irish seats at the British Parliament. But they chose to not take their seats at the British Parliament, and instead decided to form their own Irish Parliament, and proclaim an Irish Republic as a newly independent country. The Irish Republic claimed the whole island of Ireland but the north supported the union.
    This led to the Irish War for Independence. Primarily between the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and British Army.

  • 1920 - 1923 - With the war still ongoing a 4th home rule passed and superseded the 3rd (that was never implemented due to WWI). This split Ireland into North & South. This was intended to be a temporary solution to the war. So Ireland would be part of the United Kingdom but with two parliaments (one for south, one for north). This was an attempt to appease both Irish Nationalists and Irish Unionists. While the Northern Irish government was successfully established, the Southern Irish government was not. The war continued, and the Southern Irish government never functioned. The Irish War for Independence lasted for 2 and a half years, resulting in a ceasefire and the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

  • The treaty established the Irish Free State, which would become a dominion of the British Commonwealth, along with the likes of Canada, Australia, and South Africa, among others at the time. The treaty included the whole island of Ireland, but had an opt-out clause for Northern Ireland, which they immediately exercised. So the short-lived Southern Ireland became the Irish Free State.

  • There was still unhappiness that Ireland was under British rule So the Irish Nationalists were split between the pro-treaty Nationalists and the anti-treaty Nationalists. The political party Sinn Féin split into two separate parties. Pro-treaty Sinn Fein that was happy with the status quo, and the anti-treaty Sinn Féin that sought full independence.

  • 1922 - Irish general elections the two poltical parties that won the most seats were… Sinn Féin… and Sinn Féin. With the pro-treaty party winning more seats (58 versus 36). This resulted in a civil war with the pro-treaty winning (Irish free state under British)

    • in protest the anti-treaty Sinn Féin refused to take their seats at the Irish parliament their leader, Éamon de Valera, resigned from the party and founded a new political party - Fianna Fáil, and they became the dominant party in Ireland from 1932 onwards. He opposed the treaty but thought that the party's tactics weren't helpful

  • 1937 - a constitution referendum which won %56 yes votes removed all British ties from the land and become fully independent with the name of Ireland because their claim was for the entire island and that the partition was illegitimate (North/South Ireland).

  • 1960s - 1990s - More violence which concentrated mostly in Northern Ireland, the period is known as the troubles.

  • 1998 - violence ends with the Good Friday agreement in which Ireland changed their constitution and removed their claim for northern Ireland and the agreement also stated that if the majority of people in Northern Ireland wish to leave the United Kingdom and join the Republic, the governments will make it happen.

  • The impact of the troubles period can be seen today as walls that separate Protestants & Catholics and there's still occasional violence. The government has made a goal to remove those 'peace walls' by 2023

Summery

You can watch this text/summery in this video. TLDR: land fighting that started due to splitting from Catholic to Protestant because of divorce leads to centuries of conflict.


Comparisons to the Israeli Palestinian conflict

There are some similarities to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict like settlers taking over land, various laws, oppression, discriminating laws etc but what most are missing is the starting point.

In the Ireland conflict both sides started and treated the other as humans of more or less equal rank. Sometimes hating (and killing) each other but humans.

The Israeli Palestinian conflict has its roots when the Muslim religion started at around ~622 - 650ad in which Muhammad not only fought Jews and beheaded men, at best this can be a forgotten history or just ignores as "that's what probably most did at the time" but the Quran has some anti-Semite quotes like the story of how Jews turned into pigs & apes

The Koran then recounts a legend—not found in the Talmud —about Jews fishing or working on the Sabbath in a town that tradition says was located on the Red Sea . God made fish appear on the surface only on the Sabbath, never on weekdays. This tempted some Jewish fishermen to break their holy day of rest, ignoring their teachers’ warnings.

7:166 But when even after this they disdainfully persisted in that from which they were forbidden, We said to them, "Become apes—despised and disgraced!"


Anyway the Quran like the Bible and the new testament can all be interpreted in various ways and both populations lived happily ever after (*as long as the Jews were a minority and were forced to accept being robbed, poor, humiliated and discriminated against)

When someone interpret the Quran for better or for worse. Criticism to that interpretation is allowed only by specific Muslim scholars, Imams or religious VIP figures and is forbidden by the general population (to this day). So criticism on those policies and belief was minimal if at all. It wasn't believed in by the entire population as can be seen from pre-1948 in some Palestinian-Arabs helping Jews during pogroms but the general policy and belief remained.

This changed with the power vacuum that was created when the Ottoman empire fall. This new power vacuum stirred up troubles and long held common beliefs.

The end result is that one side ruling class continues to call and strengthen the de-humanization of the Jews (aka the enemy).

De-humanization is a normal and natural process in all wars. There are similar policies that were enacted in other regions and conflicts like in the American/Vietnam war in which the Americans were afraid of Vietcong spies and forbade their soldiers from talking to the other side. But this was limited in scope & in time (only to soldiers and only for the duration of the specific war/spy fear).

But the Palestinian ruling class took this to another level forbidding their population from talking to an entire other population by law. This law turned into an almost accepted social norm and when extremists take over an area (Gaza in this case). Being suspected of normalizing can lead to quick capital punishment.

And this is the main reason why the Ireland conflict doesn't apply to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Also the Ireland & Lebanon history just teach Israel that Israel shouldn't try to include another split up/different ideology population since this would simply tear the country apart over time and would turn it into a failed state.

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