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We've established than Grindewald's antics were related to World War 2, and that JKR likes to tie Wizarding events to Muggle events.

Was the First Wizarding War meant to tie into any wars, conflicts or events in the late 70s/early 80s?

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  • Wasn't the IRA in the late 70's and early 80's? I don't really know much British history but that certainly comes to mind. – Probst Mar 18 '16 at 16:51
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    History is not my forte. I did as little as possible to get a passing grade in those classes! – user31178 Mar 18 '16 at 16:52
  • "The Ministry of Magic's in disarray, they don't know what to do, they're trying to keep everything hidden from the Muggles, but meanwhile, Muggles are dying too. Terror everywhere… panic… confusion… that's how it used to be."" – Valorum Mar 18 '16 at 17:12
  • @Richard Always assumed than just meant Death Eaters were killing Muggles. Like with the bridge destruction in Second Wizarding War. – user31178 Mar 18 '16 at 17:16
  • @Probst the IRA was from 20s to 1990s but they really ramped it up in the 70s and 80s – user46509 Mar 18 '16 at 19:38
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Muggles were indeed caught up in the conflict. The Ministry attempted to cover up what was happening and while they were wholly successful in hiding the fact that magic was involved, they couldn't hide the deaths and collateral damage.

"The Ministry of Magic's in disarray, they don't know what to do, they're trying to keep everything hidden from the Muggles, but meanwhile, Muggles are dying too. Terror everywhere...panic...confusion...that's how it used to be.""

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Since we know from the account of the Second Wizard War that magical conflicts can be messy and indiscriminate, the most obvious candidate for the MoM to use as a cover would be the bombing campaign conducted by the IRA in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since this involved a considerable number of terror attacks, largely focused on London and the South of England (where there appears to be a concentration of wizards), it would provide an excellent opportunity to hide any wizard violence that resulted in blast damage or incidental muggle deaths and injuries.

There was also a dramatic uptick of terrorism around the world in this period, again, various world ministries could well have been using these as a smokescreen.

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    Pre-emptive warning. If you want to talk Harry Potter, please feel free to do so. If you want to discuss the IRA, take it elsewhere. – Valorum Mar 19 '16 at 10:04
  • So I didn't know IRA by the acronym. I looked it up and found there's something called "the Troubles" that covers all the IRA and similar organizations conflicts. That seems like a likely counterpart, especially since JKR would've old enough to know what was going on. I wonder if she's ever talked about it? – user31178 Mar 19 '16 at 14:01
  • @CreationEdge - She would have most certainly been aware of it. She was living and working in London in the late 1980s and early 1990s at a time when the IRA were especially active. – Valorum Mar 19 '16 at 14:15
  • An interesting follow-up question would be: did the Death Eaters directly use the IRA, e.g. by Imperiusing its members, or was the IRA more like a smokescreen, i.e. simply an excuse? It is often implied that Grindelwald somehow used the Nazis in order to conquer Europe, and I wonder if something similar happened during the 1st Wizarding War. – A. Darwin Apr 4 '16 at 17:07

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