Why was England so interested in conquering Ireland?
I took a class on English and Irish History from about 1200-1800 two semester ago.

Oddly enough, it doesn't seem as if we ever came up with a very good reason why the British were always trying to conquer Ireland, but I suppose it was the same reason that they were always trying to conquer the Scottish.

I think that conquests and land grabs happened quite often in these times.  Land meant wealth and power and fighting with neighbors seemed just a part of life.  The Scottish, and especially the Irish, were seen as less than human wild men who needed to be conquered and civilized.  I think it was a mixture of wanting the land (because it was near and land meant power), but also some sort of combination of the ideas of pompous servitude on the part of the English for wanting to "civilize" them and a fear that these barbarians were a threat to the monarchy.

The Irish were particularly strange, backward, and perhaps even feared by the English.  From very early on, Scotland had had a sort of crude monarchy that could at least be compared with that of those "civilized" English ideas of government.  The Irish were run by patriarchal clans and there was really no idea of Ireland as a unified entity.

Either way you look at it, the English raped Ireland and she's never been the same.  Erin go braugh!

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Re: Why was England so interested in conquering Ireland? - by Walty - 07-25-2009, 02:40 PM

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