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Лингво страноведенье / Q- 19 IRISH QUESTION

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Ireland was england‘s first colony.The troubles of modern Ireland go back to the 16th and 17th centuries when,under the Tudor monarchs and later under Cromwell,

English and Scottish Protestants were sent to Ulster and were settled on confiscated Irish lands.

Although Ireland was united to GB by the Act of Union in 1800,she still required a separate existence,in many respects.During this period Ireland had her own

troubles,and a series of laws was passed concerning Ireland alone.Thus her history must still be treated apart.

The Tory governments which controlled all the difficulties for a generation after the Union too often turned a deaf ear to Irish complaints,and,when after 1832 more

attention was paid to Irish question,great ignorance existed,and nobody wanted to go to the roots of the difficulty.

The evils from which Ireland suffered after 1800 were principally these.In the first place,the Roman Catholics,who numbered five-sixth of the population,were

excluded from Parliament and the higher official positions.

The Protestant Church-the church of a small minority-was supported by tithes (десятина церков.) drawn from the mass of the people,believers in another creed.

Along with this religions inequality went many social troubles.

There was little trade;agriculture was almost the only industry of the people,and agriculture was very backward.The population was too large,so there was great

competitionfor land,the rents were so high that it was impossible for many tenents to pay for them.Miserable poverty was general throughout the west Ireland.

As the Landlords were for the most part stupid and wasteful,they did not make anything to improve their estates,and were often heavily in debt.

Sush a state of things could not but produce widespread discontent.There appeared many revolutionary and secret societies-the Whiteboys,the Orangemen,and

others,-which alarmed the government,and the latter ran to the measures of repression.

The Habeus Corpus Act was suspended six times between 1800 and 1824.

But no attempts were made to fight with the evils which were the reason for disconnect.

The movement for Catholic Emansipation for a time absorbedthe energies of the Irish people.It was successful in 1829,when the religious inequality was removed.

But its leader,O‘Connel,was not satisfied with this success.As soon as Catholic Emancipationwas reached,he began to agitate for the repeal of the Union.But the

disconnect was as much religious and social as political.A general resistance to the English began,and agrarian outragesbecame more and more frequent.

O‘Connel,now a member of the House of Commons,had gathered round him a brilliant body of young followers,who came to be known as the Young Ireland


The Irish question continued to occupy the government for several years;but their measures were ineffective.

In 1838 the Irish Poor Law was passed,and in 1840 Irish municipal government was reformed.A little later government began to reform the education of the

people.Colleges were opened to represantatives of all religions.

But nothing was done to improve the condition of the masses,and O‘Connel undertook one more attempt to improve life for people,but the movement collapsed,

and the social evils remained undiminished.

In 1846 the frightful famine spread throughout the country.The potato crip failed,and thousands of people were reduced to starvation.The famine was followed by


The misery of the people during the years 1846-48 were appaling.

Large numbers emigrated,and the population fell in a few years from over 8 mln to 6,5 mln.

The emigrants carried away with them a bitter sense of wrong which has been the source of many troubles.

1858-the «Fenian Brotherhood» was organised.The object of the organisation was to form a great league of Irishmen in all parts of the world against British rule in


The Fenians received their chief support from Irish emigrants of America.They aimed to make Ireland independent by revolutionary methods.

The Habeus Corpus Act was again hastily suspended.

The root of the trouble was the land question;but the existence of the Established Protestant Church in Ireland,which was mostly independent from a Roman

Catholic Church,was a grievance more easy to remedy.It was therefore first attacked.

1869-a Bill to disestablish the Irish Church was introduced.By this Act the Protestant Church in Ireland was disconnected from the State,and placed on a level

with other religious communities.

At about the same time the Fenians had given place to a new movement of a more constitutional kind-«Home Rule» movement,i.e. self-government for Ireland.

Many times the voting in Parliament was against Home Rule,when in 1921,after a long struggle for independence,the 26 southern counties of Ireland formed the

Irish Free State,while the 6 Protestant-dominated nothern counties remained in the UK.

The Catholics of Ulster(Northern Ireland) came increasingly to resent the continuing Protestant domination and,as a result,a vigorous Civil Rights movement

emerged in the late 1960-s.The movement met with opposition by Protestant extremists.

In1969-British troops were sent out to Ulster to keep the peace.

The British government imposed direct rule over the province under the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

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