Monday, July 19, 2010

A Lady of No Reputation Who Was Simply Amazing, Part III

Cromwell "solved" the Irish problem by
butcthering his way across Ireland;
women and children were a special target

The fierceness of Cromwell's attack
gained be judged from the impact
on land ownership

As the English oppressed rather than assimilate the Irish, favoring the English and Presbyterian settlers in all contexts of Irish society, the "Old English" in Ireland -- the descendants of Norman lords -- became "Hebemiores Hibemis ipsis" or "more Irish than the Irish themselves," converting to Catholicism and learning Gaelic and adopting Irish culture, sharpening class lines from English prejudice sharpened religious divisions resulting from the Reformation. Renewed conflict became inevitable, if the English and Presbyterians continued extending their rule, which they did.

Catholic lords in Ireland sought an audience with English King James I and then King Charles I. Each time the English King relented, increasing Irish rights in exchange for higher taxes. The higher taxes were duly paid. The English reneged on their end.

As the seizure of more Catholic lands by ruling English Protestants was announced in this context, Ireland exploded in anger. The English reaped what they sowed.

The conflict began when Charles I attempted to impose Church of England prayers on Scottish Presbyterian churches.

Scotland revolted. Parliament in London also refused to support Charles' effort. Charles tried to trade freedom and lands to Catholics in Ireland for support against the Scots.

The process made Charles I look weak.

Catholic Irish lords thereafter seized Protestant forts in the northern counties in the name of Charles I, perceiving him, as they did, to be "pro-Catholic."

English forces responded with indiscriminate and excessive brutality against the Irish generally. Ireland exploded.

At first, the Irish very carefully restricted themselves to seizing personal property and control of real estate. Not too many English and Protestant overlords and settlers died. But then, at Lisnagarvey in 1641, the settlers murdered hundreds of captured Catholics.

Catholic Ireland exploded with rage. Ireland suddenly became the scene of numerous massacres of Protestant civilians by Irish Catholics.

The Protestant settlers struck back with murderous vengeance. Massacres of helpless Catholic followed massacres of helpless Protestants.

Catholic Owen Roe O'Neill brought the murdering under control, and thereafter restricted the killing to disciplined warfare. A Catholic government was set up in Ireland.

Cromwell landed in Ireland with a well-trained English army in 1649. He thereafter butchered his way across Ireland, by some accounts murdering a third of the population. Most Catholic land was seized and handed over to Protestants. He outlawed the practice of the Catholic faith.

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