Exploring the Battle of Boyne Visitor Center

Exploring the Battle of Boyne Visitor Center

The Battle of the Boyne took place 1 July 1690, but the effects of its outcome still reverberate in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe.

The battle was between the forces of the deposed King James II, and those of King William III (William of Orange) who, with his wife Queen Mary II (his cousin and James’s daughter), who became king and queen of England and Scotland in 1689.

The battle took place across the River Boyne near Drogheda in the modern-day Republic of Ireland. A victory for William, the battle ended James’s attempt to regain the British crown. James’ defeat ensured continued Protestant dominance in Ireland.

The Battle of the Boyne was one key incident in a wider geopolitical conflict in Europe so complex it has three names – the Nine Years’ War (1688–1697), also known as the War of the Grand Alliance or War of the League of Augsburg.

The convoluted conflict was between France and the Grand Alliance, a coalition including the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, England, Spain, and Savoy. While it mostly took place in Europe, fighting spread to the Americas, India, and West Africa.

Related mini-wars include the Williamite war in Ireland, (which the Battle of the Boyne was a key part) and King William’s War (also known as the French and Indian Wars) in North America.

This collection of conflicts has sometimes been called the actual first world war.

From the Irish perspective, the Williamite War was a sectarian and ethnic conflict, pitting Catholics against Protestants.

James II’s Catholic followers were known as Jacobites. The term Jacobite derives from the first name of James, which translates in Latin as Jacobus.

For the Jacobites, the war was about Irish sovereignty, religious tolerance for Catholicism, and land ownership. The Irish Catholic upper classes had lost most of their lands after Oilver Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland 1649–1653, the right to hold public office, practice their religion, and sit in the Irish Parliament.

King William’s followers were known as Williamites.

For the Williamites in Ireland, the war was about maintaining Protestant rule in Ireland. The Williamites feared for their lives and their property if James and his Catholic supporters regained rule of Ireland. The Williamites thought the Jacobites would re-establish Catholicism as the state religion.

The defeat of James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the eventual defeat of the Jacobite forces the following year led to centuries of on-going conflict between Catholics and Protestants. This conflict eventually led to the the Irish War of Independence in 1919-1921, and creation of Northern Ireland, which remains part of the United Kingdom.

Some Irish Protestants still celebrate James’ defeat at the Battle of the Boyne and the destruction of the Irish Jacobite army at the Battle of Aughrim on 12 July 1691. This commeration is known as the Twelfth, also called Orangemen’s Day, and is a public holiday in Northern Ireland.

Contemporary violence is direct fallout from Battle of the Boyne and the Williamite War more than 340 years ago.

The Twelfth has been accompanied by violence, especially during times of political strife, between Irish Protestants and Catholics. Irish Protestant loyalists view the Twelfth as an important part of their culture. Catholic Irish nationalists see it as sectarian, triumphalist and supremacist.

The significance of the Battle of the Boyne and the conflicts it was a part of are far too complex to be covered adequately in a YouTube video description. Interested views are encouraged to read more about the significance of this event.

Credit to : Ireland Inside and Out

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