Protestant Ascendancy Rules

Henry VIII had an interest in Ireland but his daughter, Elizabeth I, really impacted the Emerald Isle.  Henry wanted to "colonize" an already-established country.  Elizabeth wanted to create "English Plantations" throughout Ireland.

Her efforts produced devastating consequences for the Irish people.

Once Irish land was part of an English plantation, Elizabeth declared that the land belonged to England.  The Irish people who had owned those very parcels of land were now forced to "rent" from the English plantation-owners. 

This sytem was particularly effective in the north of Ireland.  The town of "Derry" became the town of "Londonderry."  The Irish Parliament was Irish in name-only.

Britain, effectively, controlled Ireland. 

There was another, major result from England's efforts to "colonize" Ireland.  Most of the Irish people were Catholics.  Most of the new English settlers were Protestant.  Hence the name ... "Protestant Ascendancy."

To learn more about it, the BBC provides helpful background information

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy BBC.


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