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Republic of Ireland

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History of Ireland

Ireland arguably has one of the most tragic histories, as for centuries it was dominated by its powerful neighbors. The first was with the Vikings as they wanted to use it as a base for trade, but the Irish continued to fight and finally years later fought them off with the help of the English, but it wasn’t asked for. The English man who led the attacks was Richard of Clare, Earl of Pembroke (nicknamed Strongbow), who with his small force in 1169 was able to conquer almost the whole country. He then brought over loads of families from England to set up and colonize the country. This led to several conflicts and eventually a rebellion in 1649, which was soon crushed by then the ruler of England Oliver Cromwell. He then expropriated Catholic lands and subsequently gave them to new protestant settlers to the country.

In 1801 the English set up the Act of Union, which meant that the whole of Ireland, along with England, Scotland and Wales would be the new United Kingdom. Obviously this didn’t go down well and many rebellions were started but soon crushed as the English might was to strong for the Irish to handle.

In 1845 the country experience the potato famine, which a third of the population perished and this showed the Irish people lack of caring from the English as they did very little to try and stop it. After this event a massive wave of Irish emigrated over seas, mainly the United States and the ones that stayed many started a new struggle for independence from its dominant English ruler. This finally occurred in 1920 when Ireland was granted home rule, but it had been separated in two. In the south was the catholic south and in the north was the protestant north, which stayed under the control of the English. The following struggle that led can be found in the Northern Irish section under IRA (Irish Republican Army) history.

Ireland joined the European Union and in recent years has joined the single European currency. Prices have gone up in the country due to it, but the country had experienced an unprecedented growth due to joining the single currency at the start, but in 2010 the economy fell apart and needed a bail out from the European Union. Things are looking good again, but still away to go from the glory days when things were booming in the country.



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