What I Learn

There is never a day that goes by that I don’t learn something.  sometimes it is by accident (mostly) and occasionally on purpose.  Most items are of no interest to anyone other than me.  I mean does anyone really care that two different Navy aircraft squadrons, VX-6 and VXN-8, operated in Antarctica in 1960.  Didn’t think so.

But sometimes I run across an item that fills a hole in my lack of knowledge of the world.

Both of my maternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland to the States.  It was sometime before my Mom’s oldest brother was born in 1910.  That is probably enough to explain my latent interest in Irish history.

I was reading the comments at Balloon Juice re: my previous post, when I came across the term Plantation of Ulster.   I clicked on it because the only Ulster I know of, is in northern Ireland.   What I read falls under, “Wow, I had no idea.”

As I am more interested in the “Why” of history, I will leave you with what Wikipedia calls Legacy


The legacy of the Plantation remains disputed. According to one interpretation, it created a society segregated between native Catholics and settler Protestants in Ulster and created a Protestant and British concentration in north east Ireland. This argument therefore sees the Plantation as one of the long-term causes of the Partition of Ireland in 1921, as the north-east remained as part of the United Kingdom in Northern Ireland.

However the densest Protestant settlement took place in the eastern counties of Antrim and Down, which were not part of the Plantation, whereas Donegal, in the west, was planted but did not become part of Northern Ireland.

Therefore, it is also argued that the Plantation itself was less important in the distinctiveness of the North East of Ireland than natural population flow between Ulster and Scotland. A.T.Q. Stewart concluded, “The distinctive Ulster-Scottish culture, isolated from the mainstream of Catholic and Gaelic culture, would appear to have been created not by the specific and artificial plantation of the early seventeenth century, but by the continuous natural influx of Scottish settlers both before and after that episode… .”

The Plantion of Ulster is also widely seen as the origin of mutually antagonistic Catholic/Irish and Protestant/British identites in Ulster. Richard English has written that, “not all of those of British background in Ireland owe their Irish residence to the Plantations… yet the Plantation did produce a large British/English interest in Ireland, a significant body of Irish Protestants who were tied through religion and politics to English power.

However, going on surnames, others have concluded that Protestant and Catholic are poor guides to whether people’s ancestors were settlers or natives of Ulster in the 17th century.

The settlers also left a legacy in terms of language. The Ulster Scots dialect originated through the speech of lowland Scots settlers evolving and being influenced by both Hiberno-English and Irish Gaelic.  Seventeenth century English settlers also contributed dialect words that are still in current use in Ulster.

Now I have a better understanding of what was going on in Great Britian/Ireland in the 20th century.

Explore posts in the same categories: Politics


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