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History

The arrival of Irish population to this island is dated to a period of  8th millenium B.C. So, in 4th millenium, population started  with agriculture , and appeared  first megalitic tombs, such as Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange. Neolitic culture probably was proficient , and population number begun to increase. Within iron ore time period ( it started in Ireland in 6th century B.C.) there were born future Irish Kingdoms, such as Airgailla, Ulaje, Mide, Laigin or Mumhain. Within their scope, there was established rich culture. The society of these Kingdoms predominated higher class, containing of war nobility and educated persons, to them probably belonged the  druids. Roman Empire (Gubernia) was not enlarged to Irish island, but Ireland was influenced by this culture, for sure. However, concrete relations between Romans, Irish population and Irish dynasty, remain unclear.

 

Middle Age Era

Naill Noigiallah put the base for Ui Nelil hegemony in most area sof west, north and central Ireland. In first hundread years of our chronology, the Christianity started to appear in Ireland. However, it is not clear, whether it was introduced  here by mercenaries, fighting in Britain, merchants or slaves. Some sources  say, that Christian missionaires operated long time before arrival of St.Patrick to the country. Nevertheless, this new religion had great influence for inhabitants of Ireland. The tradition says that St.Patrick sailed to Irealnd in 432, and in next years he managed to change all population to Christian religion. On the other hand, according to Prosper of Aquitania, chronicler, monk Palladius was sent here (as a first Bishop) to persuade Irish people that belief in Jesus Christ is the only right faith. This proves that the Christians lived in Ireland even before  St.Patrick arrival. St.Patrick is connected traditionally with preservation of Irish tribes and social customs, codification of  their laws. He changed only those laws which were in contradiction with Christian practice. He started the introduction of Roman alphabet , and this enabled to Irish monks to maintain extensive parts of Celtic written literature. Ancient Druids´ tradition ceased to exist, owing to new faith. In the meantime, new monasteries were built. Here, the Irish monks studied Latin language and Christian theology. And just the isolation of these monasteries helped to preserve Latin teaching. In 7th century, the Englismen engaged in Ireland for the first time.  In summer of 684, the was effected invasion of troops of Northumbrian King Ecgfrith. His units took in prison many persons and robbed many of booties, but they did not stay in Ireland for long time. Further English invasion came after five hundreds later, in 1169, when Normans penetrated the country. Yet in 8th century, in 795, Norwegian Vikings played havoc the country. Early Viking raids were effected in small scale and were done quickly. However, further raids cut bloom period of Irish culture, as  the intruders destroyed towns and monasteries all round the country. In 940, Viking seaside communities were established.  As far as most famous Viking colonization  is concerned , this was found in Dublin. Successively, Vikings penetrated to inland, and the rivers were used for such excursions. Nevertheless, Vikings were not succeded to get complete control over the area, and after a battle near to Clontarf ( 1014), their power became weaker. Anyway, the towns established by them, increased and took the prosperity and became an important part of Irish economy. Within 12th century, numerous quantities of small and great Kingdoms rivaled with each other about power in the island.  One of these King´s, Diamait Mac Murchada, of Leinster, was expelled violently by new highest King, Ruidri Mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobairof. Mac Murchada escaped to Aquitania, where he met Henry II, and got the allowance to gain Norman knights , in order to get back his Kingdom. First Norman Knights came to Ireland in 1167, followed with their main  powers, formed by Walesmen and Flemings, and they conquested back Mac Murchada Kingdom. Moreover, he named Richard de Clare, his step-son, as an inheritor of his Kingdom. However, this deal evoked at Henry II., English King, remarkable hesitation, as he was aware of  possible foundation of enemy Norman state in Ireland. He decided therefore that he obtains Ireland himself. In 1171, Henry II. came , with his troops, as first Englsh King in Irish territory. The area he obtained, he dedicated to John, his younger son. He granted him a title Dominus Hibernace. When John substituted unexpectedly his older brother on English throne, his Irish territories undergone directly under King´s Crown. The Normans succedded to take the control over whole east coast, i.e. from Waterford up to east Ulster , and penetrated into western parts of the country. The counties were ruled by many less important kings. In 1210, John helped to strengthen Norman power. At the same time, he succeded to force many Irish Kings to swear a loyalty. During 13th century, the politics of English Kings was orientated  for Normans power-weakening in Ireland. In 14th century, Ireland was suffered from „black death“, which attacked in most hard way the inhabitants of towns, consisting mostly of Englismen and Normans.  When the plague-wave was over, the Irish customs  together with  Irish language (Gaelic) entered on the first place. So, by Englishmen controlled territory became Dublin with environs only. English influence on island nearly disappeared , till the end of 15th century.. The reason was, that the neighbours were engaged more with their own Rose wars , as the situation in Hibernia. Local Gaelic leaders took consequently the control over these regions. Next decision for interference  came in 1536 with Henry VIII. He had the intention to conquest Ireland again and submit English Crown. Fitzgerald dynasty, sovereign of Ireland, were not too friendly with Tudors. In the same year, Thomas Fitzgerald opposed against Crown in open way. Anyway, Henry was succeded to stop disturbances in Ireland  and reigned it fully. In 1541, he declared Ireland as a Kingdom, and during session of Irish Parlament, he let to be nominated as King of Ireland. It was the first session for the first time with participation of Irish tribe leaders as well as Norman aristocracy. Within rule of Elizabeth and James I. . the Englismen obtained full control over Ireland. Dublin became a seat of centralised  government and „lords´war“ did not presented a danger. One fact which was not succeded, was those of conversion of Irish  Catholics to Protestants. Brutal methods, used by Emglish Crown  at this operation, caused considerable disagreement. Since half of 16th- and in early 17th centuries arrived, within scope of colonization, crowds of people (Scottish and English Protestants to Munster and Ulster Regions, as well as to Laois and Offaly Counties). All these were base of  ruling class later.. Moreover, the Crown issued a law, discriminating all beliefs, except  Church of England. The Catholics and later Presbyterians became victims of such law.

 

Rivers of blood and sea of deaths

17th century was probably most blooded period in Irish history. It was a century of two long civil wars (1641-1653 and 1689-1691). Both wars required enormous victims of lives. As a result, Catholic owners  lost their soil.(ground). First revolt of 1641, which took eleven years of war ,begun with uprising of Catholics against English and Protestant domination. This caused massacre of several thousands of Protestant residents. Catholic authority nominated Irish Confederation  (1642-1649), which was beaten  after Cromwell´s troops intervention (1649-1653). However, four years long expedition was most brutal part of this war. At its end, one third of Irish population was dead or escaped into exile. As a revenge and punishment for uprising of 1641, there was completely nationalised a soil (ground) of  all Catholics and  handed over to British residents. Moreover, several remaining soil (ground) owners were transferred to Connacht County. After Big Revolution of 1688, when Catholic James II. left London, and English Parlament substituted him by William Orange, the island of Ireland became main battle-field. Richiest Irish Catholics supported James´ efforts to annulate soil confiscations. However, the Protestants, under support of William,  wishing to keep their estates, were against them. In consequence, James fought with William , who exactly cound obtain the Ireland.  During  famous Boyne Battle (1690), the troops of James were beaten , and  his final resistence finished after Aughrim Battle in July 1691. The increasing Irish antagonism against Englishmen , owing to unsatisfactory economical situation in 18th century, rose. Protestants´ estates owners  were not oft present  there and did not worked on their grounds. They managed their dominions in rather ineffective way. The foodstuffs planted here, were destinated for exportation , and afterthat, for local market. The situation became worse within two very cold winter-saisons, later followed by Great Irish Starvation (1740-1741). Thanks to this tragedy, more than 400 thousands of people died. Despite of this, 18th century was, in comparison to two previous centuries, rather calm and the population increased to 4 millions of people. At the end of 18th century, many persons of Protestants elite returned back to their fatherland. Parliament fraction , led by Henry Grattan., agitated for more advantageous business relations with England, and asked for more extensive legislative independence of Irish Parlament. In spite of the fact that many requirements were met, the Catholics could not be Members of Parliament. Some of them, inspired by Great French Revolution, organised the Society of Joined Irishmen, which could throw down  British Government and nominate non-sectarian Republic. Their activities came to the top furing Irish Uprising) in 1798. However, this  rebellion  supressed in blood. As as reply to this uprising, there was declaration of Union Act (1801), which cancelled Irish administration and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established. As a part of this agreement, there  was nomination of  Catholic emancipation . This should remove the discrimination against Catholics, Presbyterians and other religions. However, King George III. refused to do it so. At the end of first half of 19th century, (1845-1849) came the second Great Irish Starvation. This fact caused, except of big hunger, also mass (enormous) emigration wave. In Ireland lived 8 millions of inhabitants before this event, later there was so big exodus from the country, that in 1911, there was living – at population census – in Ireland 4,4 millions of people only. In 1870, there became the question of Irish admistration again actuel . However, even at the end of 19th century, there was presented the Irish Government Act . This document was ready to grant full democratic control to county counsils elected by population. 19th century marked also a dispute, as far as Home Rule application is concerned. The Irish nationalists were against Irish Unionists ( they wished to be in union with Great Britain). Anyway, most of island was of nationalistic party, Catholic and agrarian. On the other hand, northeast part of island was predominantly unionistic, Protestant and more industrialized. The Unionists were afraid of loss of power over wealthy and predominantly agrarian Catholic part of island. The nationalists believed that they would remain the citizens of second category without  possibility to nominate their own administration. So, there were established two rival sectarian organisations – Protestant Orange Order and Catholic Ancienit Order of Hibernians.

 

20th century – century of passions

In September 1914, British Parlament accepted finally the Act, called Home Rule, protecting  the establishment of Irish Administration , however, the change of this act into practice life was stopped in the course of war. The Irish nationalist leaders together with IPP leaders ( Irish Parlament Party) supported war efforts of Dohoda (Understanding) , in order to effect Act implementation , so they deceived Redmont. The period 1916-1921 was characteristic with politically motivated efforts and riots. In April 1916, there was started uprising fire with so called Eastern Uprising. It was, however, unsuccessfull attempt in getting Irish independence. When the war was over, Irish Republican Army (army of new established Irish Republic) wished to negotiate with Britain as far as complete independence is concerned. So, Irish War for independence followed (1919-1921). In 1920, there was accepted an Act, by means of this the island was dividend into North Ireland and South Ireland. Later, in July 1921, Irish and British Goverment came to understanding to a truce. Irish Republic was cancelled  and Irish Free State , as independent dominium of Great Britain, was established. One year later, British, as well as Irish Parlament , ratified an agreement, securing independence of twentysix counties of Irish Free State ( renamed to Ireland in 1937, and as Republic of Ireland since 1949). Anyway, six counties of Northern Ireland, remained part of United Kingdom. Following years of 1922 and 1923 were signed with further civil war . Irish Free State had beaten Irish Republican Army (IRA). The consequences of this war are to be seen till now, especially in mutual relations between two leading polizical parties Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Next years, when Great Economical Crisis was born, was disastrous, especially with regard to increasing number of states with dictatorship regimes. On the other hand , Ireland kept its own democracy, and remained solvent , thanks to low government economic expenses. However, there were other troubles, such as high emigration abroad and unemployment. The population dropped to 2,7 millions of inhabitants only ( census of 1961). Roman Catholic Church had in Ireland always great influence, and this was a reason of its conservative politics. So, divorces, anticonception, abortions, pornography, etc. were  prohibited, and many films and books had undergone a censorship. Moreover, church controls most of state hospitals, schools, and it is one of greatest creditors of many social services. After Ireland division in 1922, there were 92,6%  of Irish Free State of Catholic faith, and only 7,4% was formed with Protestants.  Till 1960, Protestants´ number decreased on 50%. The reason is: a feel of intolerance from Catholic part. Within 2nd World War time period, Ireland was neutral. This fact saved it from most of war griefs. Tens of thousands  of Irishmen voluntarily applied  for entering British Army Units. Nevertheless, even neutral Ireland was not saved from  lack of foodstuffs and coal supply. Four years after war, Ireland was declared as a Republic  and left British Commonwealth. Anyway, in the course of 1960-1970, under rule of Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Ireland made very important economical changes , and in 1973, together with Great Britain, entered European Economic Community. After overcoming of  economical crisis in period 1970-1980, new economical reforms were accepted. They created from the country one of quickiest rising economies of the world , and mass immigration started to flow in Ireland. The country got the nickname „Celtic Tiger“. In the meantime, the Irish society became more liberalized. The divorces were allowed, and homosexuality was not punishable act any more, and also abortions in a limited measure.were allowed.

 

Northern Ireland 

Within 1921-1922, there was government of Ulster Unionist Party  in power position. Its first Prime Minister James Craig declared that he would create „Protestant State for Protestants“. However, the discrimination of nationalistic minority let in 1960 to foundation of  Northern Ireland Civil Rights Assotiation. Nevertheless, hard reaction of  conservative Unionists followed, and this cause civil riots. From this reason, British Military Units were placed in the country. However, the riots continued, and violence of several paramilitary private armies took a death of more than three thousands men, women and children. So, it was appointed direct state administration , led by State Secretary for Northern Ireland, for next twenty seven years.  Within 1970-1990, British did their best, in order to make an agreement with Irish Republican Army . In spite of the fact that the violence from IRA party decreased, no important military victory was not reached. Finally, on 28th July 2005, IRA announced finis of their military activities. On 25th September 2005,. The International  Army Inspectors supervised its komplete disarmament.

 

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