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Northern Ireland: 1921–1998

  • John D. Brewer
  • Gareth I. Higgins

Abstract

Northern Ireland was not the invention of a cartographer who quickly scrambled together an inchoate border in a situation of rapid and violent decolonisation; it had roots, it had cultural and political coherence, and an economic base (cf. the claim of Bowyer Bell (1996: 223) that Ulster had no history or heritage). Protestants did not have to artificially construct a sense of nationhood, for they had long defined their identity around two antinomies or opposites; the one religious, the other national. Northern Ireland defined itself by its Protestantism against Catholicism and by its Britishness against Irishness; Protestantism and Britishness were its core values and they had been established as symbols of Ulster centuries before. This also meant, however, that anti-Catholicism and anti-Irishness continued as central defining tenets of the new state.

Keywords

Civil Unrest Protestant Church Catholic Bishop Unionist Party Catholic Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© John D. Brewer with Gareth I. Higgins 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Brewer
    • 1
  • Gareth I. Higgins
    • 1
  1. 1.The Queen’s University of BelfastUK

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