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Villanova University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Ireland: Transformation of Social and Political Conflict


History, in one capacity or another, is relevant to all of us. History influences and affects every individual in some way. It is a defining point of any cultural group; it determines that group‟s values and the lens through which the group‟s individuals look at the world. With that being said, it is more often than not the perceived history of a group, rather than the factual historical record, which holds the most sway over a culture‟s identity. The legacy of that collective memory of history is what this paper seeks to examine. In the following pages, the author will try to convey how one group, the Ulster Protestants, have interpreted, utilized, and perceived their own history and how the legacy of historical events continue to influence and affect members of that culture group in the present. Specifically, the research looked at the legacy of the Irish Williamite War (1688-1691) in the Northern Ireland Protestant society. In many ways, the historical events of that time period have influenced and shaped the Protestant Unionist culture of Northern Ireland through to the present era, and continue to hold relevance to many people today. The historical events of the Williamite period are key components in many Ulster Protestants‟ cultural identity, and a celebrated part of their past, and therefore, this concentrated study is an ideal microcosm for exploring the more universal questions about the relevance and legacy of history in modern society—especially in a socio-politically conflicted theatre such as Northern Ireland.


European History | History | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures