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There is no agreement on the date of the start of the Troubles. Different writers have suggested different dates. Theseinclude the civil rights march in Derry on 5 October 1968, the beginning of the 'Battle of the Bogside' on 12 August 1969, the deployment of British troops on 14 August 1969 or the formation of theUVF in 1966.

The United Irishmen aimed to unite Protestants, Catholics, and Dissenters in a single military force aimed to drive the British out of Ireland. (Not such an unrealistic idea - thepopulation of each country was very similar). This scared the daylights out of the British, who relied on Ireland to feed the less agriculturally productive Britain. They knew that it was only a series oflucky incidents for them, and unlucky ones for the revolutionaries that allowed the British to hold on here. Therefore they had to find a way to divide and conquer. Throughout history, religion hasworked nicely in this role. So yet again it was brought into play. One of the first markers of this was the founding of the Orange Order, an organization dedicated to remembering William of Orange, aKing of England of Dutch origin in the early 1700s. A fairly large scale war was fought between William and his rival for the throne - James throughout England, but mostly in Ireland. In reality, thiswar had little to do with Irish nationalists, as these were two foreigners fighting over what amounted to the throne of England and influence in Europe. Catholics and Protestants fought for both.After the United Irishmen revolution over 100 years after the Williamite wars, the British founded the Orange Order on the pretext that the Williamite war was fought exclusively by Protestants on oneside, and Catholics on the other. It has all sorts of overtones of racial and ethnic bigotry associated with it. In any case, the Orange Order, and related organizations led and nurtured the Protestant...
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