Northern Ireland Civil War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: The union between Great Britain and its province of Northern Ireland, and the nature of that province’s government. Result: Paramilitary cease-fires in the mid-1990’s paved the way for intense peace negotiations leading to the establishment in late 1999 of a power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly; many contentious issues remained unsolved.
A civil rights movement, modeled on that in the United States, began in Northern Ireland in 1968 with demonstrations calling for equality in voting, jobs, and access to housing. A majority of the demonstrators, though certainly not all, were Catholics who had been discriminated against since the creation in 1920 of the British province of Northern Ireland. The province had been governed by one-party Unionist rule since its inception, and that party had boasted of creating “a Protestant state for a Protestant people,” although Protestants constituted only about 60 percent of the population.
Most Catholics would have preferred to be part of a unified Ireland governed by the Republic of Ireland rather than live under the union that made them citizens of the United Kingdom.
Beginning in the 1920’s, there had been frequent violent conflicts between Protestants and Catholics. The fact that both the political administration and the police, the RUC, were Protestant-controlled made the Catholics feel particularly...
(The entire section is 1039 words.)
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