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Northern IrelandThe Reluctant Peace$
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Feargal Cochrane

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178708

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178708.001.0001

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The Collision of Religion and Politics, 1690–1920

The Collision of Religion and Politics, 1690–1920

(p.7) Chapter One The Collision of Religion and Politics, 1690–1920
Northern Ireland

Feargal Cochrane

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the collision of religion and politics in Northern Ireland during the period of 1690–1920. It explains that July 1, 1690, was a pivotal moment in Irish (and British) history because it was the date of the Battle of the Boyne, when the Protestant Dutch Prince William III defeated his Catholic rival James II. The chapter discusses how as the political history of Ireland evolved during the seventeenth century, the struggle for power connected religion to politics and to nationalism in ways that made it relatively easy to define and recognize in-groups and out-groups, loyal and disloyal, friend and enemy. As a result of the Protestant reformation in England, religion became a key divider between the dominant and the dominated sectors of society, this in itself being linked to attempts by the Protestant English state to colonize and Anglicize Ireland for both political and economic advantage.

Keywords:   religion and politics, Protestant reformation, Prince William III, Catholic, nationalism

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