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.
[caption for photo] 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 Summer Reports, see HERE
The North Star Project: Collaboration between The Middle Ground Journal Student Interns, The College of St. Scholastica, and North Star Academy 8th Grade Global Studies Classes, 2013-2014 School Year Summer Reports.
Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:
This summer we will re-tool and re-design the collaborative program, drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This summer 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. As of the time of this report 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 brief dispatches here throughout the summer, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.
Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, June, 2013
(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 6, Spring, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal's not-for-profit educational open-access policy.