The North Star Project, Summer Report Number Five, Northern Ireland By Megan Hennen Northern Ireland Report #1
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the island of Ireland is not a single country. The island is divided into two parts, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
There’s a long and confusing history riddled in conflict between the Irish and the British Crown that eventually led to the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 resulting in the Partition of Ireland meaning Ireland became a free state aside from the Irish province of Ulster (Northern Ireland) which would remain in a union with the UK and thus forming the border dividing the island. The decision for Ulster to remain united with England ultimately came about by its population, which had been for the most part comprised of British and Scottish protestant settlers who did not wish to separate UK.
Although more people in Northern Ireland view themselves as British and wish to remain in a union with the UK, there are nearly just as many people who identify as being Irish and who’d like for nothing more to form a unified Ireland separate from British rule. These conflicting desires within NI have been the foundation of decades of violence, which the people of Northern Ireland often refer to as ‘the Troubles’. My semester abroad was focused on these violent times and what’s currently being done to propel to peace process forward, as well.
Located in Derry/Londonderry Northern Ireland, this monument is representative of the peace process, the people of Ulster ‘reaching across the divide’ and moving past differences.
For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see https://mgjnorthstarproject.wordpress.com/
For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see http://www2.css.edu/app/depts/HIS/historyjournal/index.cfm?cat=10
The North Star Project 2013-2014 School Year Reports: The Middle Ground Journal’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our K-12 outreach program. We also welcome Duluth East High School, Dodge Middle School and other schools around the world to the North Star Project. The North Star Project has flourished since 2012. For a brief summary, please see recent articles in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:
The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. We have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star Project students and teachers.
Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA
(c) 2013-present The Middle Ground Journal. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.