Politics Essays - Northern Ireland Ethnic Conflict

Northern Ireland and also other Cases of Ethnic Conflict

Is the notionof a deeply divided modern culture the right template for looking at North Irelandwith other conditions of ethnic conflict?


The central debate of thispaper revolves around the native-setter discourse of ethnic conflicts. Definitely, no conflict, ethnic or other, can occur in a vacuum and without areason. Keeping this in mind, this paper presents the basic known reasons for whichmajor ethnic issues have been occurring around the world today. Itpresents a brief history to the cultural conflict in North Ireland, mainlyto recognize that this is a case of your deeply divided society, because of this isnecessary to form the basis of the thesis topic. The next element of thispaper is a presentation of the key background to another leading ethnicconflicts about the world. The conflicts adopted in this section are SouthAfrica, Israel/Palestine and Sri Lanka. That is finished with the goal ofunderscoring the fundamental nature of these issues -while being ethnic innature, each one of these have happened out of any deeply divided culture brought aboutby these ethnic aspects. More importantly, a brief reason of the otherconflicts adopted for this review is provided because of the fact that this ismeant to be a comparative paper, in which these are used as the framework ofreference. The section on the backdrop to these other conflicts is quick andis not a historical, blow-by-blow account, as it is meant to just allow anunderstanding of the roots of the cultural nature of these conflicts. Then, thispaper traverses into another of its central arguments -the factor of territoryin these conflicts. Since it is implied in this thesis declaration that a)Northern Ireland's can be an ethnic discord, and b) that other conditions of ethnicconflict are a product of any deeply divided modern culture, this paper will not explorea popular perspective on this discord, which is if the conflict inNorthern Ireland can be classified as an cultural one. Within the concluding part, itsums up its knowledge of the newspaper It avoids mention of some commonlyused interpretations of ethnic conflicts.

Part II:

Limitation of the study:

One area ofincompleteness of the study is that while there are several cultural conflictsraging on on the globe at this point of energy, this paper, due to the paucity ofspace allotted to it, makes a contrast of only a go for list of these to theconflict in North Ireland. An addition of a few of the other leading ethnicconflicts, such as those of the Basque region of Spain, Corsica, East Timor, Cyprus and some in Africa to name a few, could have made this newspaper morecomprehensive.

Part III:

Key words:

Ethnic issue, society, natives, settler, commonality, land, catholic, protestant, whites, blacks, slavery, Jews, Arabs, North Ireland, South Africa, Israel, Palestine, Sri Lanka, persecution, Diaspora, homeland, Holy Land, Sinhalese, Tamil.

Part IV:

General conversation:

The ethnic turmoil in Northern Ireland:

A reading of thehistory of North Ireland things to the clear reality that it is indeed a casethat can be equipped in to the template of an deeply divided world: the conflictdates to almost five hundreds of years, to the reign of Henry VIII. This Tudormonarch's newfound zeal, the result of his break in the action from Rome, was to make himtarget his neighbour, whose catholic character he seen as a concern to Englishexpansionism. It had been basically a sectarian issue, for the reason that the Englishmonarchs, led by Henry VIII and later strengthened by Edward VI and Elizabeth I, tried to supplant the prevailing catholic religion with its brand ofChristianity, the protestant one. Obviously, the essentially Gaelic inhabitants resentedthese initiatives at required Anglicanism. When these original inhabitants refused tobe forcefully converted to the new religion, the British persecuted them byoutlawing a few of their cherished religious routines, and alienated them bydeveloping a condescending frame of mind towards the fans of the scurrilouslytermed 'popery'. (Finnegan, 1983, pp. 9, 10)The depths of this division required a switch for the worse following a insurance policy offorced 'plantation', or augmentation of the populace of the settlers bysuccessive British monarchs. The most notable example of this try to changethe ethno-demographic personality of the province was the make an effort of Adam I, king of both British and the Scots, to stay in about 150, 000 protestantPresbyterians from Scotland in Ulster in Northern Ireland. This is a directeffort at undermining the local catholic inhabitants -the terminology and religiousaffiliation of the new settlers were markedly different from those of thenatives. Inside the later part of this century, Oliver Cromwell, too, enforced thispolicy by worthwhile these settlers with grants or loans of vast areas of land inNorthern Ireland. The crux of the situation could be crystallised into theefforts of the indigenous catholic society to get the Protestants out of theircountry, and the recalcitrance of the settlers to stay on. (Morris-Hale, 1997, p. 95) Thus, inthis sense, it qualifies as a problem of a deeply divided modern culture.

The next sectionexplores the similarity in the type of this problem with various other cases ofethnic turmoil in different parts of the world.

The ethnic discord in South Africa: Like itscounterpart in Northern Ireland, the cultural discord in South Africa, too, isdeeply rooted in the divisions of world. The origins of the ethnic conflictof this country can be traced to 1717, when the amount of slaves who experienced beenemployed by the Dutch East India Company, the VOC in local parlance, was a mere2000. That calendar year, the company's directors in Amsterdam asked the localadministrative council of Cape if slavery was necessary for the business foreconomic reasons. Only one of the council members wanted an abolition ofslavery. From here, the increase in the number of slaves working for thesettlers was dramatic -in 75 years, the amount of black slaves had growntwelve-fold. This system was to get perpetrated with greater crudity andoppressiveness in the later decades and decades: By the mid-1700s the colonyhad over 650 slave owners, but over fifty percent managed six or fewer slaves. Yetslave owning was widespread enough to market a dependency on slave laborrather than the introduction of intensive arrangement and agriculture. This dependencylasted into the nineteenth century and motivated a mentality among Whitesettlers that one work and occupations were "beneath" them. (Beck, 2000, pp. 28, 29) This wasto not only leave a relatively unbridgeable gap in society between the nativesand the settlers who had become called Boers, it was also the forerunner to theinstitution of apartheid, (Pomeroy, 1986, p. 4)an abhorrent practice which came up to define criteria of human cruelty andoppression. This again is a definite case of any deeply divided modern culture.

Israeli -Palestine conflict: One of the most violentconflicts of the 20th century, the one between Israel and Palestine, is a top example of a issue of ethnicity and nationality being a resultof a deeply divided culture.

Israel was bornin such circumstances that its raison d'etre was detested by its Arabneighbours. The Jews, who was simply persecuted for centuries by the Christianmasses of European countries in possibly every conceivable manner from being blamed fornatural disasters to being degraded publicly for owned by that faith tobeing tortured in gas chambers, got finally come to such a precarious stage oftheir living by enough time World Conflict II finished, that these were still left with noalternative to carving out a homeland for themselves. The forming of aseparate Jewish land, they believed, was the only warrant of the verysurvival. That homeland needed to be the biblical land of Israel, or nothing else, given the primacy of this nation to their history and culture; unfortunatelyfor them, this was now Palestine, into which Arabs have been ossified for a full13 decades, ever since the delivery of their own religious beliefs, Islam. Thedeclaration of Israeli freedom on, may 14, 1948, was the culmination of anearly 19-century old cherished dream of a motherland, and achieved after a lotof bickering in the US. In this declaration, they made clear that forthe Jews to become a cohesive region for the very first time in their history out ofthe reassembly of these people from their Diaspora, there is only onepossibility: the presence of the new immigrants at the exclusion of the nativepopulation! The next words in the declaration amounts the belligerentJewish attitude, overlooking the fact that the Holy Land was at Arab possessionfor each one of these centuries:


Naturally, this is at direct loggerheads with the native population, which found this as anintrusion to their very living. A odd situation acquired developed, bywhich two nationalities were wanting to compete for lifestyle and success onthe same piece of land to the mutual exclusion of each other. The effect ofthis was the inculcation of deep-seated animosities, which continue to thisday.

The ethnic discord in Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan orCeylonese ethnic conflict schedules to the first area of the previous century. Itwas fed and exacerbated by way of a threat perception thought by the land-owning andeconomically well ensconced, western-educated, largely Sinhalese native elite onaccount of the assertiveness of the plantation staff of Indian originfollowing the departure of the colonial ability, Britain. As discussed by Perera(1998), even though land mass left out by the colonizers was nowhere nearwhat it was when it was initially occupied, the post-colonial rulers of Ceylonused their new authority to restructure certain aspects of the contemporary society andspace of Ceylon. Crucially, the postcolonial program seen Ceylon as theirspace, and did not readily recognize all colonial subject matter as nationals. To beginwith, the Sinhalese top notch were not prepared to allow the plantation personnel ofsouthern Indian origin, classifying them as "Indian Tamils" andreaffirmed that these were a foreign inhabitants[w]ithin two years, the UnitedNational Get together administration of 1948 deprived the plantation employees of southernIndian origins of both their citizenship and voting rights. That they had alreadyparticipated in the socialist-led challenges for self-reliance in the 1940s andtheir voting design had helped many socialist applicants gain in the 1947elections. If anti-colonial battles had helped bring these plantation personnel intoCeylonese politics and the "national" space, the post-colonial statedenied these. As the planters had attempted, the post-colonial rulers of Ceylonalso resorted to apartheid. . . (Perera, 1998, pp. 102, 103)Further proof the deep department of the society along ethnic lines is thefact that the Tamils have been moving into Sri Lanka for a long time, and have experienced amajority in at least four north districts. It is these four districts thatthe Tamils promise as their 'traditional homeland', the Tamil 'Ealam', for thereason that there is hardly a occurrence of the Sinhalese in these areas tillindependence. (Kearney & Miller, 1987, pp. 91-94)

Someresearchers, such as Mitchell (2000), have taken the view that while theseconflicts taken up for this review (with the exception of Sri Lanka) areessentially cultural, what grades these out that is the fact that it has a strongsub-element of native-settler issue. Elaborating, he theorises that isa case in which, animosities and behaviour have hardened because the settler hasstayed again, and has searched for to coexist with the local human population. This, according to Mitchell, is really as strong a typical factor as is the factor of ethnicityin the conditions he occupies. This is different from instances such as Australia, America, Canada and New Zealand, where the natives were all but extirpated. This aspect of the native-settler coexistence, no subject how tumultuous it mayhave been, is the primary commonality among these issues. All situations of ethnicconflict where the settlers have remained back have an essential element-land issues. Generally, land has been pivotal to the affairs of the ethnicconflict, because the natives have been relegated to substandard lands. Anotherfeeling that has run through the colonisers is the sensation of superiority tothe natives, irrespective of whether the settlers belonged to the same competition asthe natives or not. This is the feeling that the Irish war of independencefailed to correct. (Mitchell, 2000, pp. 1 and 2)In all the conditions of ethnic issue taken up here, the settlers have arrivedwith the aim of betterment, with differing degrees. It really is natural that the boneof contention had to be land, since it was natural resources that were themeans for a betterment of life. This is actually the basis for which dispute overterritory has been an integral part of these issues.

Conclusion: In all these societies taken for thisstudy, the amount of profound divisions in culture can be gauged from the actual fact thatirrespective of the point of your time of the country's history of which theseconflicts have started, these conflicts have come to be the defining occasions ofthese countries -the ethnic conflict in Northern Ireland may well not be as old as thecountry itself, but almost five decades have didn't remove these divisions. Regarding South Africa, apartheid and cultural discord have been presentalmost from enough time the white minority emerged to dominate the country; as forIsrael, the warring parties have had to cope with ethnic conflict quiteliterally from day one of the delivery and existence of a Jewish country. In SriLanka, the feeling of 'them and us' has been persisting from enough time theTamils resolved there, and it had taken the spark of the departure of the coloniststo ignite it and make it a full-scale conflagration.

These conflictshave different sub-dimensions that draw them out from one another. For example, if the conflicts in Northern Ireland and Israel are essentially predicatedalong nationalist and spiritual lines, that in South Africa is centred roundthe shade of your skin, while the turmoil in Sri Lanka is ethno-linguistic incharacter. Yet, the overriding common factor has been the deep divisionsbetween the natives and the settlers. Whatever the nature of the elements ofconflict, these have at best been sub-components of the issue, whose maintheme is without a doubt the profound divisions in world. It really is exactly thesedivisions which have not only triggered the conflict in the first place, they havenurtured and sustained them.

In fact, so deepare the divisions of the mind that even while later as 1994, when the officialobituary was written for apartheid in South Africa, emotionally much too manywhites, even liberal whites, still regard(ed) themselves as more advanced than blacksand too many of them only accepted the changes that came up in 1994 becausethey could see no substitute rather than because they actively believed in anon-racial contemporary society. (Arnold, 2000, p. 11)It can be said without much fear of contradiction that the same frame of mind couldpossibly be prevailing in the other societies taken up here. In sum, it can befittingly argued that the notion of a deeply divided modern culture is the basis onwhich all cultural conflicts of this study took place; there is certainly little inNorthern Ireland to suggest any great departure from this norm.


Arnold, G. , 2000, The NewSouth Africa, Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Beck, R. B. , 2000, The Historyof South Africa, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.

Dunner, J. , 1950, The Republicof Israel: Its Background and Its Guarantee, Whittlesey House, NY.

Finnegan, R. B. , 1983, TheChallenge of Discord and Change The Challenge of Discord and Change, Westview Press, Boulder, CO.

Kearney, R. N. , & Miller, B. D. , 1987, Internal Migration in Sri Lanka and Its Sociable Consequences, Westview Press, Boulder, CO.

Mitchell, T. G. , 2000, Nativevs. Settler: Cultural Discord in Israel/Palestine, North Ireland, and SouthAfrica, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.

Morris-Hale, W. , 1997, Conflictand Tranquility in Multi-Ethnic Societies: A GLOBAL Perspective, PeterLang, NY.

Perera, N. , 1998, Culture andSpace: Colonialism, Nationalism, and Postcolonial Id in Sri Lanka, Perseus, Boulder, CO.

Pomeroy, W. J. , 1986, Apartheid, Imperialism, and African Flexibility (1st ed. ), International Web publishers Co. , New York.

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