The causes of partition have been variously interpreted. It has been castigated as a characteristic creation of British imperialism, with its devious strategies of ‘divide and rule’. Once the inevitability of Irish self-government had been accepted at Westminster, it is alleged that right wing elements fomented opposition to it in Ulster, so ultimately enabling Britain to preserve its toe-hold in Ireland. Others have seen partition as the product of the manipulative skills of the northern capitalist class, who cynically waved an orange flag in the face of Belfast’s poor, and so successfully cloaked from them the extent of their exploitation. Alternatively, the creation of two Irish states in 1921–22 has been portrayed as a reasonable and just compromise; a symptom, but not the cause of Ireland’s divisions, an institutional recognition that in it there exists two nations, whose roots can be traced to the Plantation or even Strongbow’s Norman knights. These issues will be considered in this chapter.