Saturday, May 2, 2015

Irish - Native American Parallels -3

Assimilation and Imposition of Invaders:

The history of Ireland and America is fraught with invasion, but the invaders had an assortment of objectives.  Norse raiders came to pillage and collect the spoils of war, and soon recognized that establishing ports in Ireland, where most settlements were clustered around the churches, gave them the opportunity to establish supply depots to allow their ships to sail inland for more riches.  The long term opportunity for trade emerged as cities grew around the coastal Norse settlements.  Waterford, Wexford, and Dublin too grew from the imposition of the Vikings, who, over time were assimilated into the population of Ireland.  Norse invasions into North America never quite took hold.  Some artifacts prove they were here, but establishing settlements so far from home perhaps proved too expensive.

Historical Irony continues to fascinate me.  Columba, an Irish monk was said to convert early Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, while the son of a British Roman magistrate, enslaved in Ireland grew up to become St. Patrick.

Normans invaded Ireland as mercenaries fighting under the leadership of Richard De Clare, AKA 'Strongbow', and he became the King of Leinster.  The Norman Catholics were slowly assimilated into the Irish culture until, it is said 'they became more Irish than the Gaels'. They were , in time to be called the 'Old English'.  The House of Tudor planted English Anglicans and Scottish  Presbyterians to impose protestantism on Irish Catholics, and at the same time, for military purposes, protect their western flank.

European invaders of the western hemisphere where more apt to try to annihilate the native peoples.  As Spanish, Dutch, French and English were planted in the Americas, their assimilation was limited to intermarrying.  Their agenda was to impose their culture, including language, religion and laws.

More on that later.