What is the relationship between Ireland and Northern Ireland?
The British Isles includes two main islands, Great Britain and Ireland. The largest main island is Great Britain, which is the island where England, Scotland, and Wales are located, and the other main island is the island where Ireland and Northern Ireland are located. Why is the Northern Ireland region on the same island not part of the country of Ireland? Let’s start with the history of the United Kingdom.
Ireland was originally part of the United Kingdom and became independent after World War I, while Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom. Ireland is a sovereign country, and Northern Ireland is a political entity of the United Kingdom. The Irish are the heirs of the first generation of residents of the European continent.
The Republic of Ireland began in the Irish Free State in 1922. After the War of Independence, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed and Ireland became independent. However, the territory of the northeast chose to remain in the territory of the United Kingdom, forming Northern Ireland.
In fact, a long time ago, the island of Ireland was still a whole, and most of the people living on the island were immigrants from the European continent. Although there is no unified country, the unified writing, language and culture make these people living in Ireland have a strong sense of national identity.
From 1169 to 1171, King Henry II of England began to invade Ireland. Although the Irish tried their best to resist, they still failed to stop the British invasion.
In 1541, Henry VIII of England became King of Ireland. In 1800, Ireland and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Love-British Alliance, establishing the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which was completely annexed by the United Kingdom.
45 years later, Ireland suffered a great potato famine, and potatoes are the lifeblood of the locals. The British government was able to provide imported food for the Irish people, but they turned a blind eye to the famine, which caused a quarter of the Irish population to die. This incident made the Irish people very dissatisfied and planted the seeds of the Irish independence movement.
In January 1919, taking advantage of Britain’s just-ending World War I, the Irish MPs in the British Parliament formed the Irish Parliament in Ireland and issued the Declaration of Independence. The Anglo-Irish war started.
Due to the growing strength of the Irish anti-British armed forces and the rise of the Irish national independence movement, the British government was under pressure and signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty with Ireland in December 1921, allowing 26 counties in southern Ireland to establish a “free state”. autonomy. The 6 northern counties (now Northern Ireland) still belong to the United Kingdom.
In 1949, the Republic of Ireland abolished the constitutional monarchy and withdrew from the Commonwealth, becoming a completely independent country. Ying acknowledged the independence of love, but refused to return it to the 6 northern counties.
Therefore, the six counties of Northern Ireland still remain in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. However, for hundreds of years, Britain’s colonial policy towards Ireland left behind the “Northern Ireland issue.”
Britain is a Protestant country, while Ireland is a Catholic country. As a result, this area of Northern Ireland presents a situation where Catholics and Protestants live together.
All along, the Protestants in Northern Ireland insisted on staying in the UK, while the Catholics hoped that Northern Ireland would separate from the UK and achieve Irish unity. As a result, violent conflicts between the two sides continued around sect conflicts and the future of the region.
Although the Protestants had a political and demographic advantage, the Northern Ireland region remained in the UK. But the problems of the two factions have never been resolved.
After talking about the love and hatred between Ireland and the United Kingdom, I have to mention the “Brexit” of the United Kingdom. Since Britain’s “Brexit” referendum, many British people have flocked to apply for Irish passports. After Brexit, Britain will not be able to enjoy the preferential policies of the European Union. However, Ireland is also a member of the European Union. In the past, the United Kingdom and Ireland enjoyed the Mutual Visa Exemption Agreement (BIVS). Many British people thought of applying for an Irish passport to continue to enjoy the benefits and conveniences in the European Union.
Question of Northern Ireland
The issue of Northern Ireland is the issue of the ownership of Northern Ireland. After the First World War, an armed uprising broke out in Ireland. In 1920, the British government adopted the policy of “divide and rule”, allowing 26 southern Ireland to form an “Irish Free State” with autonomy; 6 of the 9 counties in the northern Ulster Province are still under British rule. Southern Ireland was declared an independent republic in 1937. In 1948, Ireland announced its separation from the Commonwealth. The United Kingdom continued to retain six northern counties and changed its name to the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”