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Full Version: Why was England so interested in conquering Ireland?
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I have been reading up on English history (bought a book about the Civil War not too long ago), and I am curious to see opinions. Why exactly was England practically from her unification until the early 20th century so hell bent on conquering Ireland? Heck they still own 1/4 of the place in the 21st century - but I suppose all those centuries of English plantations and Scottish refugees arriving Northern Ireland is more of it's own entity now when compared to the rest of Ireland.

Is the soil there good or something or is it simply because England was power thirsty and France was too powerful so they settled for their neighbor? I can't see any other practical reason for England (medieval to empire) to want to own an economically poor Island with inhabitants hostile to foreign occupation. Especially post reformation which like tripled the Irish dislike of England when they shut down the Irish monasteries and suppressed the Church there etc... what benefit did England gain?
Because they were Douche Bags....
(07-24-2009, 07:52 PM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Because they were Douche Bags....

The English?
(07-24-2009, 08:41 PM)matthew_talbot Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-24-2009, 07:52 PM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Because they were Douche Bags....

The English?

You're damn right the English.  >:(
inferiority complex about the wee men u know what i mean. English lassies were always better satisfied with us Irish. so the English couldn't out love us they tried to out fight us which for the last 800 years they haven't succeeded. we do everything better besides imperialism and the limeys are not  good at that no more either.
sip sip
(07-24-2009, 08:41 PM)matthew_talbot Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-24-2009, 07:52 PM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Because they were Douche Bags....

The English?

I have to admit, though being of English descent myself, the English have been pretty douche-y throughout history, from the Hundred Years' War at the least. Ireland was nearby and easy to pick on. After a while, they felt obligated to subjugate the entire island because the King of England also had the title of Lord of Ireland (then Henry VIII claimed King). This title of "Lord of Ireland" was given to King Henry II of England by Pope Adrian IV in a bull called Laudabiliter. The pretext was on reforming the Irish church. Not surprisingly, Adrian IV was an English pope....


As further proof of their douche-iness, you have the English forcing drugs on the Chinese in the Opium Wars of the mid-19th century.
DK lol +1

What I find fascinating is that in 55 years they went from a cultural, military, and especially economic superpower controlling 1/4 of the world to loosing all of their Empire - even Scotland - and becoming an almost bankrupt high inflation welfare state that is more socialist than Communist China with a rapidly decaying culture that is sex crazy and either athiest or neo-pagan/new age (Church of England not surprisingly fits both categories).

I think though the cost of having two world wars with in 20 years is what did them in financially - and America's Vietnam era cultural revolution spread over there which combined with collapse of industry finished their culture as it did the with the USA. But I guess perhaps it is not unusual for empires to collapse quickly - the USA was on top of the world 7 years ago and now look...
well its a highly complex issue. they were done the minute they revolted against the True church. see once the church of England ceased to be the brit state religion it was over for them heretics. the brit empire did a fairly well job of controlling its descent. but they are done as a culture and as a state. they have been extremely short sighted. i doubt they will ever again be able to field a professional army when it counts. No! there done.
no tears here.
sadly there culture has ravaged Ireland and yes many many many tears for that. well bombs to i suppose.
sip sip
BRITS OUT! TIOCFAIDH AR LA!

I mostly know about Englands Tudor era and at that time it was because they were afraid Ireland being Catholic would be a launching pad for a Spanish Invasion and this continued to be a reason for about 150 years but the biggest reason is that England is full of ass clowns.
I think that the question is somewhat anachronistic.  The conquest of Ireland in the 1100s wasn't really "English" -- it was Norman.  The Normans were a group of Vikings who first conquered Normandy in France and then England, Wales, Sicily, parts of Italy, parts of the Byzantine Empire, and then Ireland.  The Cambro-Normans (Normans based in Wales) were especially prominent in the conquest of Ireland.  Their Norwegian and Danish cousins had already conquered parts of Ireland (and founded Dublin, Wexford, etc.) centuries earlier.  The Hiberno-Normans (Normans in Ireland) eventually became "more Irish than the Irish" and were quite Catholic.  It was only in the 1500s that English nationalism per se became a major issue, and Protestantism too.  Anyone with "Fitz-" in his surname is of Hiberno-Norman ancestry.  They "went native" long, long ago, just as the Normans who conquered England eventually went native.  The second, Protestant conquest was a rather different phenomenon. 

It should be remembered that the initial Norman conquest was the result of an inner Irish conflict in which a banished Irish king hired Norman, Welsh, and Flemish mercenaries to help him regain his throne and seek revenge upon his enemies.  Then St. Lawrence O'Toole, the Archbishop of Dublin (he was the first ethnically Irish bishop of this Norse town), helped negotiate the terms by which Henry II, who ruled half of France in addition to England, would be Lord of Ireland. 

So it's somewhat inaccurate to speak of "the English" conquering or ruling Ireland before the 1500s.  For most of the High Middle Ages, the rulers were local Hiberno-Norman rulers who were being assimilated to the general population. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English_(Ireland)
This article explains issues of ethnic identity, cultural friction, and religion prior to the Tudor conquest: 
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