What similarities and differences can we see between the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA?

Over the past two lessons, we have assessed the aims, motivations, punishments and public reaction of both the Gunpowder Plotters and the Provisional IRA. What are the similarities and differences between them? And to what extent do these two case studies show different forms of terrorism?

You can download the worksheet for today’s lesson here. If you cannot download the worksheet, complete the tasks in the yellow boxes below.

KEY WORD:
Paramilitary = A group that acts like a military, but fights against the state.

STARTER: Quiz!
Over the last two lessons we have explored The Gunpowder Plot and the IRA in Northern Ireland. Look at the statements about the aims, motivations, punishments and public reactions that we have seen over the past lessons in the quiz below – can you place each statement with the correct case study?
Remember to check your answers at the end!

TASK ONE: How can the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA be seen as similar and different?

Using your knowledge from your past two lessons and from the starter activity, complete the table below to examine how the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA have a number of similarities and differences. The first one has been done for you.

TASK TWO: Continuum line.

Now that you have outlined the key similarities and differences between the two groups, place an X on the continuum line below to state how similar/different you believe these case studies were.

Explain your answer.
I have placed a cross on the continuum line here because…

TASK THREE: How far do you agree question.

Now that you have assessed the main differences and similarities between the two groups, it is time for you to decide how similar or different they were. Attempt the question below:

Using the case studies of the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA, how far do you agree that terrorism has remained the same throughout time?

USE THE GUIDE BELOW TO HELP

WRITING GUIDE for TASK THREE:

What is this question asking me?
This question is asking you to make a judgement on whether the case studies of the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA present similar or different forms of terrorism. You need to decide how similar or different they are to form your argument.

How should I answer the question?
For this question, we will be attempting what is called a PEACE paragraph. PEACE paragraphs are similar to PEE paragraphs, but they help you to write effective answers in history when you need to make a judgement on something.

Each PEACE paragraph will analyse an element of terrorism (aim/motivation/punishment/public reaction).

You need to write two to three PEACE paragraphs for this answer.

P = point. Firstly, you need to make a clear point/argument. Pick an element you wish to talk about and state how it could be similar.
e.g. It could be seen as though the aims of the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA were similar.

E = evidence. You need to now include strong evidence to show that the aims of the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA were similar. Look at your table from Task One to help you.
e.g. For example, both groups wished to attack Protestant targets with violence. The Gunpowder Plotters wished to blow up the Houses of Parliament, killing the Protestant king James I and his Protestant MPs. Moreover, the IRA wished to attack the Protestant British state by targeting the British army and its leader, Margaret Thatcher.

A = analysis. Now analyse the evidence you have discussed to show why it shows they are similar.
e.g. This shows that the aims of the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA were similar. Both groups attacked what they saw as an oppressive state that was run by a religious majority. This shows that terrorism has remained the same throughout time.

C = counter argument. We have assessed the similarity, but now we need to look at the counter argument – how could they be different?
e.g. However, it could be seen as though the aims of the Gunpowder Plotters and the IRA were different. The Gunpowder Plotters only aimed to attack one target – the Houses of Parliament. They were limited in their aims, and just wished to remove one target. This differs largely to the IRA who were well organised, held weapons and took to the streets to attack multiple targets. They not only used explosives, but acted as a paramilitary force. This shows that terrorism has changed over time.

E = evaluate. Now you need to decide which argument is stronger. This is the hardest part, and if you can do it well you have written a fantastic Historical argument.
e.g. Overall, the aims of the IRA and the Gunpowder Plotters were similar. Although the IRA’s aims were more comprehensive than the Gunpowder Plotters, both groups wished to attack what they considered a religious enemy to help their cause. Both wished to scare the state in the hope to bring about change for Catholics within the country.

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