The story of men and their land has always been the story of other men moving into that territory that offered better chances for better lives.  Such is the story of all the British Isles, including Ireland.

The first people to inhabit Ireland arrived approximately 9000 years ago, once the great Ice Age sheets had withdrawn.  The earliest inhabitants were titled Mesolithic and were primarily hunter-gatherers.  Approximately, three thousand years later a new group that distinguished itself by farming and producing pottery was titled Neolithic.  These were the same builders of the great stone dolmens and burial sites throughout Ireland, including New Grange.  They were followed around the year 350 BCE by the Celts who immigrated from Spain, rather than Gaul.  Ironically, the Romans never made it to Ireland.  They had enough problems with Scotland.  One other group not to forget were the Vikings.  They were a multi-talented people that liked to pillage when they could, but more often set up trading settlements when the opportunity presented itself.  Dublin is a great example of such a site.  It translates to “Dark Pool” in Norse.  They turned out not to be the last of their extended culture to occupy Ireland.  The last group taking up residency was the Normans.  After their invasion of England in 1066, they took about a hundred years to set up their castles throughout Ireland, strangely operating under the open invitation of one of the Irish clan lords who wanted a little extra help in fighting off his rivals.  The Normans came to help and then decided to stay.  They became the primary regional powers in Ireland, especially the South.

When Henry VIII became king of England in 1509, he also inherited the title quote Lord of Ireland.” English Kings had carried this title for years without a meeting much. But, as people throughout Europe were to learn, Henry VIII was the kind of guy who likes to get his way. The Norman-Irish lords had essentially been ruling themselves as independent monarchs for years. The most significant of these lords were the Earl of killed there in the Earl of Desmond, both from the Fitzgerald family, and the Earl of Ormond from the Butler family. Garrett Fitzgerald, Earl of killed there, served as Lord Deputy of Ireland for many years and was effectively the most powerful man on the island. Thomas Lord hopefully, Garrett on Fitzgerald son, started a largely symbolic rebellion in 15 3040 show that Henry needed the support of the Fitzgerald’s to govern Ireland. Henry took the symbolism literally in sent over an army to set them in line. Thomas’s supporters backed off, and soon the Fitzgerald surrendered on the condition that they received mercy. Henry agreed, and then promptly had most of them killed. The loss of Ireland’s most powerful family left a power gap that Henry promptly filled with his own supporters.

Religion added a new twist to the conflict in 1536, when the English Parliament passed the act of supremacy. This made Henry the head of the Church of England introduced the Protestant Reformation to the British Isles. England had been a Catholic country, but now became officially Protestant. The Church of England was not especially different theologically from the Catholic Church, but it was different enough to provoke fights. Most important Henry now refused to the knowledge the Pope in Rome as the supreme leader on earth; instead, Henry was now the head of his own church. The Irish are still Catholic and wanted to stay that way. Although an Irish parliament officially recognized Henry is ahead of their church in 1537, most Irish maintained allegiance to the Pope and considered this ample reason to take up arms. This was the start of religious violence that is plagued Ireland for nearly 500 years. This religious dispute became much more serious turn the reign of Queen Elizabeth the first. Elizabeth was in about Protestant. She spent much of her reign fighting with Catholic leaders in Rome and in Spain who are constantly trying to topple her from the English throne under these conditions she couldn’t live Catholics to attack her from her own backyard, so she gave tacit approval for Protestant adventurers to go claim land in Ireland from Catholic landowners.

During Elizabeth’s reign she suffered several challenges to control of Ireland including James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald and you O’Neill Earl of Tyrone. O’Neill appealed for help in his rebellion to the King of Spain who sent more than 4000 soldiers to help fight England. Spain was Elizabeth’s greatest enemy so she raised a massive army of 20,000 soldiers to crush the rebellion. In 1601 for army defeated the paper now-Spanish force at Kinsale.

O’Neill and his fellow Catholic Earls tried to mount another attack, but he couldn’t gather sufficient forces to have any chance of victory. In 1607 they fled Ireland in the “Flight of the Earls.”

James I became the King of Scotland and England and Ireland in 1603. He knew that O’Neill’s strongest supporters to come from the north; Ulster at this time was the most like a least Anglicized area of the island.

James I therefore, decided to fix Ulster by settling it with loyal Protestants from England and Scotland, a plan that came to be known as the Ulster plantation. The Protestant population that he settled there developed on very different lines from the Catholic Irish in the south. This led to considerable difficulties during the Irish struggle for independence, and more recently, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

One more piece of the puzzle in the complex history that belongs to Ireland was the ongoing conflict based on religion.  In 1641 another attempted rebellion led by the O’Neil clan was forcefully put down by Oliver Cromwell in 1649.  He was ruthless and in order to destroy Catholicism as a political force in Ireland massacred  thousands and once English Protestant control of Ireland was reestablished Cromwell had Parliament passed an act to confiscate all Catholic owned land in Ireland grandma’s intention was to transplant all Catholics to the Western product of contact so that he could settle his own soldiers and Protestant supporters on the more fertile lands in Ulster although the eventual the settlement didn’t force all Off their land thousands of families were forced to leave their homes and resettle the Rocky Western area of Connacht.

After Cromwell’s death and the reinstitution of James and Charles in England the Anglican social elite still dominated Ireland. They comprised about 25% of the population that they owned most of the property to control law politics in society for the island’s native Catholic majority however it was a time of poverty and oppression

The Treaty of Limerick 1691 ended the violent wars that are drivers Ireland in the 17th century although in the Treaty King William promise of the Catholics would regain the right to practice their religion, and he gave the general impression that they would be treated fairly once a gave up their arms. Unfortunately this proved not to be true. The king’s true intention was to install a ruling class of Protestant landowners who would be loyal to the British Crown. The victorious English government seized Catholic land to give to his Protestant supporters. The same thing it happened under the reins of Elizabeth I, James I and Cromwell this time however the English are playing for keeps.

The now Protestant Parliament enacted series of infamous penal laws designed to limit Catholic power by curtailing Catholics economic and social rights. Catholics are not allowed to bear arms, send their children to other countries for school, acquire land from Protestant, or make wills. In addition, Catholics had to divide the property equally among all inheriting sons which resulted in increasingly smaller and smaller farms. Irish clergy were also expelled from the country. The Irish are not allowed to maintain schools and in 1728 they lost the right to vote. All Irish culture and music was banned. Ironically, the penal laws didn’t just a Catholics. Ulster was home to a number of Scottish Presbyterians, the Scotch Irish, who also refused to accept the strictures of the Church of Ireland, and they too lost a good deal of political power. Unfortunately, when push came to shove the Ulster Presbyterians generally joined forces with their fellow Protestants against the Catholics.

In 1791 a young Protestant named Theobald Wolf Tone found in society of United Irishmen in Belfast. United Irishmen’s goal was to unite all Irish people of all religions, to emancipate politically, too in the dominance of landlords, and to achieve political independence for Ireland. However, this rebellion also created an outlet in secret agrarian societies, such as the white boys for the written man which Joined protest undulates unjust taxes or other points of contention in response Protestant form their own groups. In South Ulster the tension turned the clear-cut conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Protestant son area formed an armed group called the people day boys and the Catholics responded with a group called the defenders. The troops fought often they’re mostly bloody battle was the 1795 battle of the diamond in which the Protestants trounce Catholics. Things came to a head in 1798. The United Irishmen had planned a huge rebellion in Dublin and collected more than 20,000 pikes to use against the British soldiers. But before they can get started, British troops marched in the Dublin. They arrested the leaders of the Dublin United Irishmen and searched houses all over the city turning up quite a few caches of weapons. Although there were scattered conflicts throughout the country, the British quickly send in troops and put down the rebellion. Wolfe tone was captured by the British sent to Dublin for trial and sentenced to death, but he committed suicide in prison before he could be executed

One of the last characters in Ireland to set the stage for the political climate in Ireland was Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator. He was one of the first Irish Catholics to practice law after Catholics one back that right in the late 1700s. O’Connell was strongly opposed to the union between Ireland and Britain which been established upon the dissolution of the Irish Parliament and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1828 O’Connell ran for Parliament as a representative from County Clare and one this presented a problem for the British because since the days of Queen Elizabeth the first anyone taking public or church office was required to swear an oath of supremacy, which acknowledged the British monarch as they head of church and state anyone refuse to take the oath could be charged treason. But O’Connell called the British bluff refuse to take the oath of supremacy, and Parliament capitulated by allowing him into office without it.

Over a century and a half from 1692 to 1840, Ireland lived through a time of unprecedented peace. No major wars, urban culture flourished, and due to high agricultural productivity, a population boom. All of this leads up to the greatest disaster in Irish history, the great famine. Due to the ongoing failures of the potato crop which he Irish population had become so dependent upon there was great hardship and starvation throughout the country. Millions died and millions relocated, many to United States. This population movement is strikingly different than the earlier immigration of the Irish to America. The original immigrants, the so-called Scott Irish, left Ireland primarily for reasons other than abject poverty and starvation. The Irish immigrating to America prior to the great famine intellectually distinguish themselves from their later countrymen.