The Irish Question

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Note in inglese su tutte le principali tappe della questione irlandese (3 pagine formato doc)

THE IRISH QUESTION I

During WWI England had to face different problems inside and outside its boundaries: outside was WWI; inside there were Ireland and India which asked for independence from the old country (=la vecchia madrepatria, cioè l'Inghilterra).

India obtained independence in 1947 and it was split into 2 different states: India and Pakistan. Irish way to independence was longer than Indian.


The problems between Ireland and England are deeply-rooted/have their origins both in history and in religion.

In history because Ireland was colonised by England in the XIII century. In religion because British colonisation brought a new religion in Ireland. Irish people had Celtic origins.
Celtics were known as a Catholic people, whereas English people were Protestants.

English people introduced feudalism in Ireland and obliged Irish people to work the land as serfs. Only a very little part of the crop remained to Irish people who had to live on it, thus living in very poor conditions.

Through the following centuries English Protestants tried to subdue Irish Catholic people. In the XVI century, two acts were passed by English Parliament: the first stated that Irish Parliament could only be summoned under the consent/authorization of the English king; the second one, stated that every act approved by the English Parliament should be applied to Ireland as well.

In the XVII century, English Protestants settled in the North-East of Ireland, in the region called Ulster, which included 6 counties (=contee).

In 1689, James II (a Catholic king of the Stuart dynasty) offered his help to Irish Catholics landing an army in Ireland. However, English Protestants could count on the help of William of Orange (Hannover dynasty) and won the Battle of the Boyne (1690). From now on, Irish Protestants will be called Orangemen.