Unionism in Ireland

Unionism in Ireland is a political tradition on the island that professes loyalty to the unifying Crown and constitution of the United Kingdom. Once the overwhelming sentiment of a then-ascendant minority Protestant population, in the decades following Catholic Emancipation (1829) it mobilised to oppose the restoration of an Irish parliament. Resurgent as "Ulster unionism", in the century since Partition (1921), its commitment has been to the retention within the United Kingdom of the six Ulster counties that constitute Northern Ireland. Within the framework of a peace settlement for Northern Ireland, since 1998 unionists have reconciled to sharing office with Irish nationalists in a devolved administration, while continuing to rely on the connection with Great Britain to secure their cultural and economic interests.

Hazards of separation from Britain. Unionist postcard (1912)