Dublin has been the focal point of numerous predatoryattentions over the centuries. The Bronze Age Celts settled on thebanks of the Liffey, living peacefully until 9th century. Vikingsgreedily descended on the wealth of the Irish monasteries and destinedDublin to become an important trading post in their new world order.The year 1172 saw Henry II declare Dublin capital of his Irish kingdomafter an indecisive victory, inaugurating centuries of Britishcolonialism and Irish rebellion.
Throughout the turbulent 18th century,calls for Catholic freedom and an end to the Protestant Ascendency ledto skirmishes between the British Army and the native Irish. Theformation of the "United Irishmen," with their doctrine of religiousequality and the unity of the Irish people, reflected the rise of Irishnational consciousness during this period. As Britain industrialized,it exploited Irish farmers, remunerating them poorly for their exported potatoes.
The advent of potato blight in the mid-19th century led tofamine, disease and mass emigration. Republican movements snowballed,climaxing in the Easter Rising of 1916 when Irish nationalist seizedthe General Post Office and defended it for a week, proclaiming theRepublic of Ireland. Finally, a 1921 treaty divided Ireland along itscurrent lines: Britain claimed the six largely Protestant counties inthe North, and the rest became part of the Irish Free State.