Rebellions and wars
Since the Norman invasion in 1169, Irish history has been constantly linked with English history. At that time, the English established political and military control over the island. However, through continuous fighting, the people in the Irish territory managed to push back the English, who ended up only retaining control over small areas of Ireland until the 16th century. When Henry VIII proclaimed himself King of Ireland, this launched a series of conflicts. Ireland became the battleground between Protestant and Catholic forces.
Various rebellions and wars took place involving Scottish and English Protestant settlers fighting with the Catholic Irish population. During the 17th century, the division between Protestants and Catholics grew as the Catholic majority became subject to the rule of a Protestant minority.
Two wars established this tradition: the Irish Confederate Wars in 1641-52 and the Williamite War in 1689-91. The outcome of these wars led to the rule of Protestant Ascendancy. This rule meant that only Protestant landowners and clergy had access to politics and high-class society. However, the land they owned had been confiscate...