Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Northern Ireland—History—1968-1998. Northern Ireland—Politics and government—1968-1998. Adams, Gerry, 1948- Sinn Fein--History.


Although the Troubles often have been written about by historians through a nationalistic or cultural context, pitting the Irish Catholic Nationalists against the Protestant British loyalists, much of the action took place within the political sphere, as the Nationalists’ and Unionists’ representatives fought for concessions and control. Rather than focusing on the religious differences or the ethnographic backgrounds of the people living in Northern Ireland, this thesis examines through a political context how the leaders of Sinn Féin shaped popular opinion and gained support through nonviolent means. While the national identity and cultural differences between the Nationalists and Unionists inform their political decision-making, these politicians all entered peace talks with their own biases and preconceived notions about themselves and their opponents. Although some mention of this has therefore been included in this thesis, however, the cultural and nationalistic differences between the groups are not the main focus. The actions of Sinn Féin politicians Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness in guiding their supporters, the IRA, and public opinion from violence to nonviolence in Northern Ireland, as well as their interactions with other politicians who took part in the creation of the Good Friday Agreement such as John Hume, John Major, David Trimble, George Mitchell, and Tony Blair, guide how this thesis explores the end of the Troubles and the start of the Good Friday Agreement from 1988 to 1998.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of History

First Advisor

Thomas Connors, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 110 pages)



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