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History about Ireland

Historia til Irland, frå middelalderen og fram til i dag.

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The conflict in Ireland


Kings and Queens


In 1152 it lived two war kings beneath other war kings on a little island named Ireland.

The one was named Tiernan O’Rourke, the other were his political rival, Dermot Mac Murrough by Leinster. (Ireland is shared in four parts; Ulster in North, Connaught in West, Leinster in East and Munster in South.)


King Dermot Mac Murrough fell in love. It was only one little thing that wasn’t to cool. The one he loved was married... With Tiernan O’Rourke. Dermot ran away with Tiernan’s wife. These things have never been popular, not even in 1152. When Tiernan found out what had happened he was not pleased.


Tiernan got his wife back after a few months, and maybe he should have forgiven him. But jalousie is a strong emotion, and since Dermot were his political rival, they continued to fight until King Dermot ran to England in 1166. Later he ran away to France. Here he got Richard Strongbows help to kill Tiernan.


Dermot believed that he soon would be king of Leinster again. Dermot promised Strongbow that he would get his daughter as wife, and inhered the throne after Dermot- as King of Leinster.


The war went out fine. They won the battle by Waterford in 116, and Strongbow married Dermot’s daughter in the Waterford- Cathedral.





Ireland had been invaded and robbed by the Vikings, and then the Englishmen came.

The problem for the new colony lords wasn’t a big army or strong military force. The worst were that instead of the Irish to be more civilised as the Englishmen, the Englishmen started to be as the Irish.

The Englishlords didn’t like this, so they started an apartheid “look-alike.”


In 1366 came  “The Statutes of Kilkenny” that forbid marrying between Irish and Englishmen, and also forbid use of the Irish language, Gaelic. This helped some, especially in Dublin, and then the English landlords were happy, cause it was there they lived. Everywhere else in Ireland the Irish continued as before. It was war between the Pale (English occupants) and Gael (Irish)



Plantation Policy


In 1500 the English Kings and Queens found out that Ireland were a place where they could train in invading, robbing, and so on, and so they did. A systematically plan started so they could invade and oppress the Irish. All the good land was taken by the English throne and given in gifts to civilised, protestants from Scotland or England. This is called Plantation Policy.



No more Catholic


Henry VIII was the first king who took the title “King of Ireland.”

After making the Catholic England Protestant- after a little conflict with the pave and the Catholic Church in Rome. This was because the Pave didn’t aloud him to divorce one of her six wives. (Later he killed two of his wives because he didn’t love them anymore) – Henry VIII tried to make the Irish protestant. This only worked in Dublin, where the “Pales” lived. Monastery and Churches in Ireland still had the Irish language and Catholicism.

Ulster was a Centrum for uproar against the Englishmen.


Henry’s daughter, Elisabeth, had much trouble trying to stop it. Elisabeth tried to convert the Catholics to Protestants. One thing hat bothered her were that England’s enemies were Irelands friends.

In a last try to stop “The plantation Policy” The Ulster Chiefs allied with Elisabeth’s biggest enemy in Spain. In 1601 a Spanish mini-armada sailed in the south harbour by Kinsdale, but the Englishmen crushed it, and the Ulster Chiefs ran away to Europe- many of them to Rome.



To hell or Connaught!


All the Irish got thrown out of all the good growing and Rich parts of Ireland and moved to the poor part of Ireland, west for Shannon- in Connaught. The famous expression, “ To Hell or Connaught” illustrates what choices the Irish got.


Her the foundation is laid for a development that makes a majority of English friendly Protestants in Ulster against the minority of Irish Catholics. It is accidental that the two opponents had different religion, and therefor is the conflict not a religious conflict, The war was not a religious war, but a fight for the right to soil and land.

Ireland is shared in four. (As said earlier.) These four parts are what we call “ Fylke.” “Fylket” Ulster is shared in 9 counties- “kommunar”.  Six of these nine counties are Northern- Ireland.



Republic or Monarky?


In 1642 it became civil war in England between royalists and republicans. The Englishmen got tired of Kings and stake fresh on the new rich Oliver Cromwell. The Irish hoped that Cromwell’s enemy and opponent, King Charles I. King Charles lost his head the 30. January 1649, and England was declared republic under Oliver Cromwell. Oliver was a very good preacher, and easily made people join him (as Hitler, Mussolini)


Since the Irish in Ireland hoped that king Charles I won the war he travelled down there and should teach them a lesson. In the name of religion he should crush these Catholics. He said this, but it were not because of religion he wanted to crush them, but because they stood in the way for England’s road to world-dominion.


He travelled over there with his Scottish and English soldiers in 1649, and he gave the earth to all the Irish farmers to the soldiers that killed the farmer.  Cromwell left the Island in May 1650. He died a natural death in 1659, as the first and only president in England (dictator). On the time where he were president 1\3 of the Irish population died.


England decided to go back to Kingdom. The new king, King Charles II commanded his soldiers to dig Oliver’s body up again. The rests of the dead president first got hanged on a gallows, and so on he got his head cut of, and his head got put on a stake on Westminster, the same place that Oliver had killed Charles I.

Later the rests of him got dig down under the gallows where he had hanged.



The Battle of Boyne


In 1688 the English revolution came, and William of Orange got their new king. The old King, King James II just had to pack his things, and go out of the castle. He was Catholic.

William of Orange was Protestant. He was married with James II’s daughter (she was also Protestant), and James II were William of Orange’s Father of law. James wanted revenge, and travelled to France to make plans. He allied with the Irish and the Frenchmen, and they started a uproar. William of Orange and his Protestant army, ”Orangemen”, crushed them in the famous battle, “ the Battle of Boyne”, 12. July 1690. Many Protestants marches through the streets 12. July each year with orange suits. The Catholics hate this, and often try to stop them.


The war between James II and William of Orange ended with the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, which guaranteed the Catholics religious rights. The Englishmen made many “Penal laws” so the Catholics didn’t get any power or influence in the community. The Catholics got excluded from the Parliament, from the courts, from the military and the army. They couldn’t buy or sell property, give away properties, leave properties or inherit them undivided. They had not vote right.



Independence for Ireland


Many fought for the independence of Ireland. Henry Grattan was known as one of the biggest. He was protestant, and his parents were from England, but he was born and educated in Dublin, and a very good preacher. Grattan secured Irish free-trade in 1779 and England’s right to make Irelands laws abolished he in 1782.


In 1793 ” the Relief Act” came. It gave Irish Catholics right to be in the army and have practise their  own religion. They also got vote right, but couldn’t sit in the parliament. In 1797 Grattan retired himself from political commission. When England wanted an union with Ireland three years later he started to fight the Catholic right again. He did this until he died in 1820.





Theobald Wolfe Tone also fought for the Catholic rights. He tried to abolish the anti- Catholic laws. He got a big enemy in the English prime minister, William Pitt. Pitt feared that Ireland would allied with France. Tone said that England were “ The newer falling source of all political evils.”

Wolfe Tone got the French Navy with him in December 1796. The English were lucky, because strong storms made it hard for the French ships to come into the shore.

In May 1798 Tone came in prison when he tried to start a new uproar. He died in prison after a try of suicide.



The Battle of Diamond


Now the English gave the Catholics right to own their own property, or rent property. The Irish Catholics started to but up land in Ulster, because there were all the good land. The protestants didn’t want these neighbours, and the land prices were very, very high.

Catholic Irish started small groups of violent men, as Whiteboys and Ribbonmen. These groups killed cattle, burned down houses and shoot at protestants farms. The protestants did as the Catholics did, and they also made small groups, called Peep o’ Day Boys. When the day light came they travelled around and started to set fire in catholic property. The Catholics made a new organisation for defence, Defenders. Ulster again was a place for terror and prosecution.

In a battle called  “the Battle of the Diamond” in 1795, the protestants and Catholics started to fight, and 30 men got killed.

The protestants made a new group, Orange Society, they took the name after their big hero, William of Orange. With prime minister pitt’s blessing they started to kill Catholics. The war started.





In year 1800 the Parliament in Dublin, Stormont, abolished. The union between Great Britain and Ireland were a fact with Act of Union. Many fought against it, but 1st January 1801 it got approved.    

Ireland was now a part of Great Britain.

From now on all should be ruled from Westminster. The little freedom Irish Catholics got in 1793 was lost now, because British Catholics didn’t have the same rights. The Irish hate to England didn’t die with this “marriage,” the hate just got stronger, and England should soon experience that Ireland wasn’t a innocent and compliant bride.  





In the 1800s the English industry developed, and the same did the fear for competition. Irish wool industry got many restrictions so they couldn’t compete with the English wool industry. The Irish got dependent on farming, on a time where the farming were in-effective and the population grew. The Irish just had the bad land in west to grow, so they ate most potatoes. The English landlords had got all the good land -through “the Plantation Policy” and of cromwell- and they utilised this to get capital, without give back any forms of investment. They often didn’t live in Ireland, so they didn’t care what happened there.



Daniel O’Connell


Daniel O’ Connell, “ The Liberator” was born in Ireland, partial educated in France and got home to study law in Ireland. He established “ the Catholic Association” in 1823, and through this organisation he fought for that catholic should gain same political rights. The Catholic Association played an important role in fighting on the law called “ the Catholic Emancipation Act” in 1829, who gave all full political freedom in Ireland and Great Britain, and allowed to have public position, even in the parliament. Daniel never used violence. In 1829 he got voted in to the British House of Commons. In 1841 he got mayor in Dublin.


The Irish population were hungry, and they had no trust on that political debates should give them food on the table to day? The Irish wanted violence, even many in O’ Connell’s own party. In 1846 the party discarded, and for Daniel it was a though time. He  was tired of telling these folks that peace was the road to chose, not war. He moved to south Europe.    





During the 1840s the potato crop failed year after year, and the Irish’s most important means of subsistence was gone. Potatoes were all the poor farmers afforded. Hard winters, hunger and illness made the catastrophe to a fact. One million Irish died of starvation or disease. Ca. one million fled, most of them to USA, but many to England. The English were blamed, they did nothing to avoid the catastrophe they self made.





After the hunger catastrophe, some Irish Catholics created an association “ Irish Republican Brotherhood” ( I.R.B.). James Stephens was the man behind I.R.B. He came back to Ireland after a visit to France. I.R.B. got found on St. Patrick’s Day, Irelands national day, 17 mars 1858. There target were an independent democratic republic, and they called their English opponents for tyrants and intruders.

In USA they made an organisation called “ the Fenians,” a name they took after old Gaelic warriors. This American organisation was also called Iris Republican Army, I.R.A.     


In 1867 Iris Republican Brotherhood attempted a armed uproar, but they lost. The foundation  for guerrilla warfare in Ireland, a fight form that always has been a trademark for the Irish fight for freedom.



William Ewart Gladstone


William Ewart Gladstone was prime minister in Great Britain.

He was born in 1809 and died in 1898 of cancer.

He believed strongly on God. He fought for that the working-class should get it better, he criticised the way people were threaten in the colonies.  Will wanted peace in Ireland. When the English came to Ireland in ca year 1300 they made a law that made all the Irish pay taxes to the Anglican Church, the protestants church. William saw the madness, and abolished that law. He also made a little protection for the Irish tenants, they couldn’t just be thrown out by the landowner, now they had to pay for the fun. William made the law “ Land Act” that gave the tenants more control over the land they grew. 

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