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Ireland Before, During, and After British Colonization

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Ireland Before, During, and After British Colonization
Ireland was colonized by British settlers between the 16th and 17th century. To be precise, it was the British Protestants that conquered this nation. Consequently, there was enmity between Protestants and Catholics regarding Ireland’s colonization. It is salient to note the changes present after Ireland was colonized by the British settlers (Bartlett 2). Also, the colonization resulted in the adoption of the British government and its laws. It is important to understand that the enmity between Catholics and Protestants and adoption of British laws were rendered significant happenings in the history of Ireland (Bartlett 2). For this reason, it is clear to note that the history of Ireland may be divided into three sections. This paper will critically examine the history of Ireland before, during, and after British colonization.
Before colonization, the Irish focused on clans rather than monarchies and states. As earlier mentioned, they adopted the British laws that incorporated monarchial rule. The societies in Ireland were ruled by decentralized clans overseen by local clan elders. Moreover, the Catholics had their freedom of worship before colonization. They did not undergo any harsh penalties or rules for practicing Catholicism. They were allowed to interact with Protestants without any form of restriction. Most importantly, the Irish Catholics were not impeded from their Parliament (Bartlett 1-3).

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Henry VIII was determined to instigate monarchial policies and convert Ireland into a kingdom (Bartlett 2). Additionally, during the colonization period, the nation maintained its Parliament of Ireland, which integrated a House of Commons and a House of Lords. It is necessary to note that the parliament was bicameral; and consisted of two branches in the Legislature. The Parliament of Ireland was harsh, and strict regarding matters of membership to the Houses. In point of fact, people such as Gaelic Irishmen were completely hindered from becoming members. Expulsion of powers in the Parliament was also monitored to avoid misuse. It was mandatory for new bills to be approved by England’s Privy Council before they became laws. Irrespective of difficulty in acquiring membership to the Houses, Henry VIII offered the same to Native Irish Lords. However, it is primary to note that he was blackmailing them. Henry VIII’s main target was to secure the position as Ireland’s King (Montaño 301).
Regardless of its restrictions, the Parliament of Ireland was not the most powerful body in the nation. The greatest powers were bestowed upon the individual that was nominated by England’s King to rule over Ireland. It is the Lord Deputy of Ireland that withheld most of the nation’s powers. It is salient that Ireland was slowly adopting England’s laws during the period of colonization (Montaño 282). Nonetheless, the nation had not yet been fully colonized by the British. During the colonization period, there were a lot of battles that resulted in many deaths. The British fought the Irish people to obtain full control over Ireland. However, it was a challenging process that took about 100 years (Montaño 282-285).
The British ultimately colonized Ireland between 1569 and 1583. After colonization, England experienced control from Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. Other than deaths, the government of England encountered challenges such as opposition and rebellion. One chief, Hugh O’Neill, from a Northern Province in Ireland, was greatly against the English and their government (Ranelagh 300). The opposition resulted in a rebellion that gave rise to a war involving Spain. It was forlorn that the English were victorious apropos of the war between Spain and England. For this reason, Hugh O’Neill resorted to accepting defeat. It is necessary to note that the victory immensely improved their chances of gaining total control over Ireland. It was at this juncture that Ireland became a full kingdom and embraced centralization. After Hugh O’Neill had moved from Ireland, the English rule became better and stronger in Ireland. As prior mentioned, O’Neill was among England’s challenges and threats (Ranelagh 301).
After colonization, the British greatly struggled to instill the Protestant denomination in the Irish population. It was, however, difficult for the Irish to comply, due to the nefarious rule of the British people (Montaño 335). Also, most of the Irish were acquainted with the Catholic denomination. It was difficult for them to abandon the Catholic doctrines and embrace new Protestant ones. In point of fact, most of the colleges affiliated to Ireland focused on training about Catholicism. Moreover, there was no substantial endorsement regarding Protestant tenets (Montaño 335).
Furthermore, during the post-colonization period, there was the formation of a British ruling class in Ireland. The ruling class would integrate members of English and Protestant descent (Frame 66). It is necessary to note that the government sought for these members through dubious ways. The government embarked on acquiring settlers from the Northern parts of Ireland for their benefit (Ranelagh 300-301). They focused on establishing colonial grounds; thus they required permanent settlers. With colonization, Catholicism was rendered an outcast denomination. Catholics were prevented from acquiring opportunities such as working in governmental offices or the army.
The discrimination of Catholics in Ireland resulted in a rebellion from the involved parties. The rebellion was against the English and their Protestant doctrines (Hendrix 80). It is salient to note that the Protestants also caused anarchy, chaos, and unrest during the 1641 rebellion. The Irish Catholics were severely punished for the rebellion. Their lands were grabbed, seized and given to the English settlers. Additionally, the Irish Catholics were not allowed to reside in the towns or create intimate relationships with Protestants (Hendrix 88). In point of fact, some of them were moved to one of the Western Provinces of Ireland. As aforementioned, the Irish Catholics were restricted from working in offices of the government. After the rebellion, they were completely locked out of the Parliament of Ireland. It was fortunate that King Charles II placated the Irish Catholics by reimbursing them accordingly.
In summation, it is important to note that this paper has critically analyzed the history of Ireland. It has explored the situation of the nation before, during and after colonization. The paper has also given an overview of the determination that the English people had to rule Ireland. Henry VIII wanted complete control over the nation. As a matter of fact, he bought the people’s loyalty by giving them positions in the Parliament Houses. However, it is also clear to note that some of the English rulers did not oppress the people. For example, King Charles II indemnified the people apropos of the land that was taken away by the British settlers. Lastly, the paper has examined the religious war observed between British Protestants and Irish Catholics. The other aim of the British colonizers was to spread their Protestant tenets all over Ireland. Howbeit, the difficulty of conversion from Catholicism, led to a rebellion among the Catholics.
Works Cited
Bartlett, Thomas. Ireland: A History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.
Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369. , 2012. Print.
Hendrix, Scott E. The Impact of the English Colonization of Ireland in the Sixteenth Century: A “very Troublesome People”. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2012. Print.
Montaño, John P. The Roots of English Colonialism in Ireland. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.
Ranelagh, John. A Short History of Ireland. , 2012. Print.

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