djrez4 wrote:Northern Ireland has a problem with Ireland, not with England. The split happened long ago because of the divide between Catholics and Protestants. They also haven't gone through the process Scotland has.
The "Catholics vs. Protestants" thing is an oversimplification of the whole Irish issue. The British have always tried to make the conflict seem like a religious issue because they know the world cringes when they hear about religious strife. In reality, the larger issue is ethnic, not religious. Sure, there are religious components to the conflict- such as the UK's historic distrust of Catholicism as evidenced by the fact that the British monarch can never
be a Catholic nor the child of a Catholic(by law). If it had been about religion, Ireland would have never had Douglas Hyde(a Protestant) as the first President of Ireland after full independence.
Most people don't realize that until fairly recent in Irish history (until 200 years ago) the Island of Ireland was almost entirely Irish Gaelic speakers and most of them weren't bilingual. Then came the Irish potato famine which the British ignored and let happen which caused the death of millions of native Irish and the emigration of millions more. Meanwhile, the predominantly Protestant English-speaking Scots-Irish moved to urban areas of Northern Ireland. Those native Irish who were left were forced to speak English (there was something called a "tally stick" put around the neck of Irish school children- whenever they said a word or phrase in the Irish language a mark was put around their neck and at the end of the day, they were whipped that many times).
So at the beginning of the 20th century, the British finally realized that the Irish could never consider themselves British and inevitably " The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
" would soon fail, but was determined to at least settle for the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
". The problem with that for the British was that those who were pro-union in Ireland (Scots-Irish among others who also happened to be Protestant) held very little land, although it was densely packed. So they couldn't just take that
area and form a constituent part of the UK, but they also couldn't take all
of Ulster (one of the four traditional regions of Ireland) because those wanting to be part of the republic of Ireland would outnumber those who wanted to stay in Union with the UK. So the British ripped away as much of Ireland as they could (six of the nine traditional counties of Ulster) and called those unnatural boundaries "Northern Ireland". It would be like Philadelphia deciding they wanted to secede from Pennsylvania, but instead of taking the city of Philadelphia proper or the greater Philadelphia area to become the new "State of Philadelphia", they rip as much of rural Pennsylvania as they can get away with and still keep the majority of people 'real' Philadelphians. And when these rural former Pennsylvanians cry foul, the Philadelphians simply claim the "majority rules".
So calling it a "Catholic vs. Protestant" thing ignores history.