Violence and terrorism took 3636 lives and injured 36,000 people between 1966 and 1999 as the conflict of Northern Ireland spread beyond its borders and into England and elsewhere (Sussman, CNN).The persistent troubles in this region stem from religious and political differences between Irish Catholics and immigrant Protestants.The decades of protest and bloodshed have been stalled as an uneasy ceasefire has been maintained.Insight to the conflict in Northern Ireland can be approached through the historical and geographical background, analysis and actions of each position, and a discussion of the peace process and potential solutions.
Northern Ireland, a province of the United Kingdom, occupies the northeastern portion of the island of Ireland.It is bounded by the Republic of Ireland, the Irish Sea, the North Channel and the Atlantic Ocean.It is inhabited by approximately 1.6 million Irish Catholics and Protestant immigrants of England and Scotland, according to a 1998 census (Britannica).
Catholic Ireland had been under English rule from the 12th century to 1920.Significant events that shaped the history of Ireland include the Plantation of 1609 in which the Gaelic province of Ulster (area now known as N. Ireland) fell to Protestant culture, and the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.This battle was fought between two kings, James II and William of Orange, both of whom laid claim to the British throne.James was an Irish Catholic who controlled much or Ireland.William of Orange was a Dutch Protestant who claimed the throne of Great Britain in 1689.William defeated James II in Ireland and took control of the Ireland and the throne.Laws were quickly enacted by the all-Protestant Parliament which cut off wealth and education to Catholics by barring them from such things as holding office positions, owning land and schooling.The Act of Union in 1801 created the United Kingdom which officially united Great Britain …