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A Short History of the Troubles

A Short History of the Troubles (Paperback)

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For thirty-eight long years, from 1968 until the St Andrew's Agreement and IRA decommissioning in 2006, Northern Ireland was wracked by inter-communal violence. It became notorious as one of the world's most intractable quarrels whose effects were felt not only in Northern Ireland but in the Republic of Ireland, the rest of the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States.

The Troubles sprang from the nature of Northern Ireland itself. Established in 1920 in order to contain the local unionist majority within the United Kingdom, it none the less embraced a one-third minority of nationalists. The distinguishing mark between unionist and nationalist was confessional - Protestants and Catholics. Nationalist refusal fully to acknowledge the legitimacy of the state was met by unionist discrimination against the minority. The imperial government in London, nominally the sovereign power, looked the other way. The Troubles started in 1968 as a demand for equality and civil rights within the UK, but quickly changed character when the re-formed IRA decided to take aggressive military action against Britain with a view to securing Irish independence by force of arms. It gradually developed into a contest that neither side could win. Along the way, there were many atrocities, many brutal murders and maimings and the moral compromise of both communities - almost 3,000 people lost their lives.

History & PoliticsHistory: Chronological20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000Postwar 20th century history, from c 1945 to c 2000History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450/1500History & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyBritish & Irish history Publisher: Gill Publication Date: 01/04/2009 ISBN-13: 9780717144631  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Currently unavailable to order online.  

Gordon Gillespie is a distinguished writer and academic who teaches in the politics department in Queen's University, Belfast. He is the co-author of Northern Ireland: A Chronology of the Troubles and author of Years of Darkness.

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