Why was England so interested in conquering Ireland?
#11
The anti-English commentary is quite unnecessary.

Interestingly, the first time the English invaded Ireland – in the late 12th century – it was at the express request of an Irish king.  Diarmaid of Leinster had been forced to leave the country and came back to retake his throne with an army made up of Englishmen.  The leader of the army married Diarmaid's daughter and became king of Leinster himself, but he eventually needed assistance from the king of England.  King Henry II was glad to do so, in that in the end he himself controlled the kingdom and assumed the title Lord of Ireland.

Until the time of King Henry VIII in the 16th century, Ireland was ruled essentially as a fief to the king of England.  The English only really controlled the area around Dublin.  Henry, however, named himself king of Ireland (and eventually head of the Church in Ireland), and greatly solidified his rule over the island.  When Oliver Cromwell overthrew the monarchy, he then spent years reconquering, quite brutally, all of Ireland.

Essentially, the Protestant Reformation, and the stalwart fidelity of the Irish people to the Catholic Church, turned the English rule over Ireland into a reign of terror for hundreds of years.  The difference in religion was the basis for the idea of ‘colonizing’ the island with English and Scottish Protestants, which had great success in the northern part of the island.
(07-24-2009, 07:51 PM)Tobri Wrote: 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?
Well, after the Reformation, the conversion of the ‘papist’ Irish was reason enough to keep the colony.  By the 19th century, religion had waned in importance but the government had a policy of imperialism.  In an age of expansion, the English were not keen on letting a colony go too easily.  And, in the 20th century, they held on to as much they could, namely Ulster.
(07-24-2009, 11:47 PM)Baskerville Wrote: 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 . . .
I have often wondered why the Spanish did not try to invade Ireland rather than England in 1588, where they could have conquered relatively easily and enjoyed the support of, say, 98% of the population.
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#12
Bonifacius,
You must have posted as I was writing my own commentary.  Excellent post discussing the Norman identity.  It is true that King Henry II would have considered himself Norman or French, not ‘English’.  The ‘English’ who invaded Ireland in the 12th century assimilated to the culture and became ‘more Irish than the Irish themselves’, as the saying went.  But the English who reconquered Ireland in the 16th century truly intended to remake Ireland in their own image: to make Ireland English and Protestant.  They succeeded in almost completely destroying the Irish language, but happily never had any success in destroying the Irish religion.
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#13
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#14
Is it right to say that the English vs Irish 'snub' had two distinct phases - before and after the Reformation? The former on solely cultural and ethnical differences, the latter, mainly on religious differences? Or is there more to it?
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#15
(07-25-2009, 01:03 AM)iggyting Wrote: Is it right to say that the English vs Irish 'snub' had two distinct phases - before and after the Reformation? The former on solely cultural and ethnical differences, the latter, mainly on religious differences? Or is there more to it?

That seems fair in general terms, I'd say.  There were the Catholic "Old English" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English_(Ireland) and the Protestant "New English."  It's also true that direct English rule was quite limited before the Tudor period.  This map shows how little of Ireland was under Crown rule, how much under Norman lords, and how much ruled by natives:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pale  That's for the year 1450. It should be noted that Dublin was a Norse area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse-Gaels) before it became English, so it's not as though the native Irish really lost much when the Crown took it.   Here's a map for 1300:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Www.we...ap1300.gif  If the maps are accurate, the native Irish were gaining territory.  Now, when the English came back as Prots, they consolidated rule over the whole island and sent in Protestant Scots (like some of my Quaker and Calvinist ancestors) to supplant the natives in Ulster.  They also promoted the heretical Anglican "Church of  Ireland" and stole churches, etc.

And let's not forget Irish loyalty to the originally Scottish Stuart dynasty.  The Irish loved those kings. 

Oh, and I forgot two more Norman conquests.  At one point, they invaded papal Rome and burnt part of the city.  Some also participated in the First Crusade and thus participated in the Christian reconquest of the Holy Land and the rest of the Levant. 

:tiphat: Schmendrick
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#16
Just let the Wolfe Tones tell you about it! They are far more reliable than any history book.
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#17
(07-24-2009, 07:52 PM)didishroom Wrote: Because they were Douche Bags....
Apparently Hitler thought so as well...........

Which kinda makes you wonder, would England or Europe for that matter had been in a better state today had the UK and France never attacked Germany to placate their International bankster masters?
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#18
(07-24-2009, 10:12 PM)devotedknuckles Wrote: 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
Of course it didn't stop the "gentlemen" from enforcing the twisted idea of "prima nocte" on the Scottish and Irish populations which really pissed them off creating men who would rebel like William Wallace.

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#19
(07-25-2009, 08:31 AM)alaric Wrote:
(07-24-2009, 07:52 PM)didishroom Wrote: Because they were Douche Bags....
Apparently Hitler thought so as well...........

Which kinda makes you wonder, would England or Europe for that matter had been in a better state today had the UK and France never attacked Germany to placate their International bankster masters?

No, it would not be better off.  *In the 1930s,* Hitler was a bigger douche than the English.  1940s Poland was worse than 1940s Ireland.  Read a book sometime. 
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#20
(07-25-2009, 08:42 AM)alaric Wrote:
(07-24-2009, 10:12 PM)devotedknuckles Wrote: 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
Of course it didn't stop the "gentlemen" from enforcing the twisted idea of "prima nocte" on the Scottish and Irish populations which really pissed them off creating men who would rebel like William Wallace.


What's your evidence for the idea that "prima nocte" ever existed as a custom?  I hope it's not Mel Gibson's movies.  I've read that "prima nocte" is a bunch of hogwash. 
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