This chapter summarises the main points raised in the book, noting why the unionist conception failed. It comments on the church-state relations, economic and social development, strategic interests of United Kingdom towards its relationship with Ireland, and the ambiguities of the peace process. There are three main reasons why the concept of the union failed. First, Britain failed to achieve a moral hegemony to match its political, military, economic, and linguistic dominance. Second, the pattern of Irish economic and social development tended to undermine the union — except in the north-east — and even in the north-east economic success came at a high price. Third, a continuing strategic interest bedeviled British efforts to govern Ireland for much of the 19th century.
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