History Of Ireland Essay

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The first known settlement in Ireland began around 8000 BC, when hunter-gatherers arrived from continental Europe, probably via a land bridge.[1] Few archaeological traces remain of this group, but their descendants and later Neolithic arrivals, particularly from the Iberian Peninsula, were responsible for major Neolithic sites such as Newgrange.[2][3] On the arrival of Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries in the early to mid-5th century AD, Christianity began to subsume the indigenous Celtic religion, a process that was completed by the year 600. From around AD 800, more than a century of Viking invasions brought havoc upon the monastic culture and on the island's various regional dynasties, yet both of these institutions proved strong enough to survive and assimilate the invaders. The coming of Cambro-Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, in 1169 marked the beginning of more than 700 years of direct English, and, later, British involvement in Ireland. In 1177, prince John Lackland was made Lord of Ireland by his father Henry II of England at the Council of Oxford.[4] The Crown did not begin an attempt to assert full control of the island until after Henry VIII's repudiation of papal authority over the Church in England and subsequent English Reformation, which failed in Ireland. Questions over the loyalty of Irish vassals provided the initial impetus for a series of Irish military campaigns between 1534 and 1691. This period was also marked by a Crown policy of plantation which led to the arrival of thousands of English and Scottish Protestant settlers, and the consequent displacement of the pre-plantation Catholic landholders. As the military and political defeat of Gaelic Ireland became more pronounced in the early seventeenth century, the role of religion as a new divisive element in Ireland became
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