As both national and religious differences between the Protestants and Catholics remained prominent for centuries, new political philosophies formed among Ulster’s inhabitants (Hennessey 1997: 1).
In the historical debate between Nationalists and Unionists there is some dispute over which group has first claim to Northern Ireland (Dixon 2001: 2).
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In 1641, the Catholic Irish population rose up against the Protestants, resulting in the deaths of many (Dixon 2001: 3).
In the period between 16, Cromwell bloodily triumphed over the Irish (Dixon 2001: 3).
From the 1930s onwards, the Irish Nationalist population instead looked to the Irish Free State to improve their situation (Mc Grattan 2010: 3).
Equally, Ulster Unionists, who favoured retaining the constitutional link with Britain, saw little point in offering concessions to a minority that offered allegiance to a ‘foreign’ and ‘hostile’ government (Mc Grattan 2012: 3).
However, the historical roots of the Northern Ireland crisis run much deeper.
This essay will briefly look at the rich historical significance to the Northern Ireland Crisis before evaluating the religious and subsequent political aspects on which many scholars claim to be the main causes of the “Troubles.” The terms, Catholic and Nationalist, and Protestant and Unionist, are interchangeable.