Northern Ireland Essay

2397 words - 10 pages

Northern Ireland

A world of hate supports many conflicts in modern society. Strings of hatred entangle all walks of life. Oftentimes, the most disheartening part of most ongoing hatred is the fact that the people involved do not even know how it began. Since 1170, nothing but hatred, intolerance, and death has surrounding the culture of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is a land rich in tradition and pride; the same pride sustains the separation of the Protestants and the Catholics. The Protestants wish to stay loyal to Britain and allow Britain to stay in control of Northern Ireland, while the Catholics want to break free from British rule altogether and start their own free Northern Irish state. The thought of British government in Northern Ireland has been a large determinant of the hostility between the two religious groups. The idea of the two denominations in contention has little to do with actual religious disputes. Much of the conflict has taken a political form. This complexity of a religious battle fought along political lines plays a major role in its perpetuation. One can begin to determine the reasoning behind the violence in Northern Ireland by learning about the history of the region and the conflict between Catholics and Protestants.
There was tension among the religious beliefs in the beginning of the conflict, and some tension still exists today, but little of the strife is in reference to whether the bread and wine of communion is Jesus' body and blood or if it is just symbolic. While some Protestants and Catholics still dispute their beliefs and the proper way to worship God and Jesus Christ, a major part of the dispute exists strictly at the political level. Political tension exists everywhere, even here in the United States. The main difference between the two cultures is the level of religious tolerance we have in the U.S. that does not exist in Northern Ireland. For instance you would not see two Americans killing each over religion as often as you would in Northern Ireland. Once again, it is difficult to figure out how much of the violence in Northern Ireland is based on religious views and how much is over political views. The line between religion and politics in Northern Ireland is not distinguishable.
The strife began in 1170. Norman warriors left England and brought violence to Ireland. They were sent from their homeland by King Henry II to gain control over the region for British rule. For four centuries, the Norman warriors made an impact in Ireland. Despite their efforts with the war, it was still considered unsuccessful. The Norman campaign grew stronger when a chieftain by the name of Hugh O'Neil entered the scene. Oddly enough, Hugh did not side with the English; he led a rebellion against the British army. The rebellion was quickly destroyed. Hugh's failure caused other Gaelic chiefs to flee from Ireland and opened the door for English in colonize Ireland.
In 1641 the...

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