Why was the Protestant-Catholic divide not as prominent in Germany as in Ireland?

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
Ireland is complicated via the pattern of English and later British settlement. The Protestants were largely English/Scottish settlers. The Catholics were native Irish, or descendants of the Norse-Gaels or Hiberno-Normans.
I don't know how thiing unfolded fully in the HRE or the Prussia-dominated states up until 1871. But Ireland was and is a complex case due to the settlement patterns, invasions by Cromwell and others, and the famines, which all changed the demography and denominational leanings. Even before the Cromwellian conquest, both Stuart and Tudor monarchs of England/Scotland had infleunced settlements there. And fellow Celts (since the Scots originally came from Ireland) like Robert the Bruce was responsible for this in part too.
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,456
appalacian Mtns
And fellow Celts (since the Scots originally came from Ireland) like Robert the Bruce was responsible for this in part too.
These were lowland Scots, IE Anglo -Saxons, not Celts. The Bruce was Anglo-Norman with maybe a trace amount of Celtic ancestery.
 

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
These were lowland Scots, IE Anglo -Saxons, not Celts. The Bruce was Anglo-Norman with maybe a trace amount of Celtic ancestery.
You're right, he was descended from Normans. Scotland though did claim a Celtic descent as it does today, and the Bruce family were rightful descendants and heirs of the early Celtic/Pictish kings of Alba.
 
Sep 2013
1,466
Ulster
Dunno about that. The 30 Years War was one of the most brutal conflicts in European history and order broke down completely in large swaths of what is today north eastern Germany, namely the states of Brandenburg ( the area around Berlin ), Niedersachsen and Sachsen-Anhalt ( west and south west of Brandenburg ). They never fully recovered and are comparatively sparsely settled even today. It was only thanks to the federal(ish) structure of the HRE that the conflict could be settled eventually by the catholic and protestant states keeping out of each others' hair as much as possible. I don't think that is an option for Ireland.

If you get the chance to watch Berthold Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children at a theatre near you go take it. You do not wish that "solution" on the Irish.



This is somehwat exaggerated. Interconfessional marriages generally weren't an issue in most regions in the early 20th century and beyond. Nationalism starting to replace religion certainly played a part in this process. My grandparents on both sides were mixed couples, one married in the 1920s in Masuria ( today north eastern Poland, then and now a rural and very conservative region ) and the other just after WWII in Thuringia ( central Germany ).
In Europe people can move around but on an island the size of Ireland this is not the case. The Easter Rising and all which went before is still with us today. The basic fact is that the Catholic Irish want a 32 county Ireland while Protestants are happy with having 6 of those 32 counties
 
Last edited:
Apr 2019
116
Ireland
Attempts at a Reformation in Ireland were unsuccessful in the 16th Century. There had already been several failed plantations in Ireland, however, following Hugh O'Neill and Red Hugh O'Donnell's defeat in the 9 years war and the subsequent flight of the Earls in 1609, a Plantation of Ulster was brought about. Many adventurers and settlers from England and mostly Scotland acquired land. The land was meant to be purely for protestants, however many Catholics returned as tenants. In the end it was the most enduring of the plantations in Ireland because it was never overturned or assimilated by the Irish like previous invasions/settlements or plantations, the religious factor proved to be decisive in an enduring 'appartness'.
Irish history after this contained a theme of dispossession which was used by some of the Stuart Kings to further their own ends. The rebellion of 1641, the Jacobite/Williamite war in Ireland - a campaign of the War of the League of Augsburg, were part of this narrative.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,817
Spain
I think in Germany is not issue about ethnicities or culture... in Ireland yes.. Irish are Catholics.... English and Scots born in Ireland are protestant.... it is as Argelie.... Pied Noirs were catholic.... natives were islamic.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,817
Spain
Maybe a bit like what happened in America then.
In America, first Catholics arrived and later arrived protestant.... Not many protestant at all in San Agustín, Florida in 1565 or in 1695.... neither Tucsón, Alburquerque or San Antonio...
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,456
appalacian Mtns
You're right, he was descended from Normans. Scotland though did claim a Celtic descent as it does today, and the Bruce family were rightful descendants and heirs of the early Celtic/Pictish kings of Alba.
When you discuss Scots especially back then keep in mind there are two completely different cultures, Highland IE Kelts culturally very similar too Keltic Irish also known as Gaels. Then there are Lowland Scots who are Anglo-Saxons primarily closely related too the English.