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What in your view was the short term significance of the granting of Catholic Emancipation in 1829?

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Introduction

What in your view was the short term significance of the granting of Catholic Emancipation in 1829? The passing of Catholic Emancipation in 1829 enabled Catholics to have a voice in government and gave Catholics the ability to take part in politics which had been denied from them for many years. The act represented a key victory for Irish Catholics in their pursuit for greater civil rights and influence in Ireland since it acted as a catalyst for the shakeup of the political climate in Britain which would make the situation of Ireland a prominent issue. Ironically the passage of Catholic Emancipation in 1829 led to dramatic changes in Britain with the division and then collapse of the old Tory Party, this was due to the opposition of the Ultra Tories to Catholic Emancipation. This led to a decade of Whig government at Westminster. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, Jackson stated that Emancipation affected "only a small educated and propertied elite" because at this time MPs were unpaid and therefore only the aristocracy and upper classes could participate since they had enough money to hold this position. The passing of the act therefore did enable Catholics such as O'Connell to participate in politics, but the vast majority of the Catholic population did not possess the right to vote, were too poor to become MPs and ironically led to the reduction of the franchise and meant that even fewer people could vote than before. It is also clear that the passing of Catholic Emancipation represented a great victory for Catholics, a view highlighted by Jackson, and by Pitts in the poem 'A New Song on the Catholic Emancipation'. Jackson identifies that the passing of Catholic Emancipation was a "psychological victory for Irish Catholics" since Emancipation was "planned by a Catholic leadership and won on the playing field of ...read more.

Conclusion

This assessment is supported by Gerville as he stated that the Protestants desired "nothing so much as to provoke the Catholics into acts of violence and outrage", but Gerville does admit that "both sides are to blame, but the Protestants the most" for the occurrence of "massacres and tumults" after the passage of Catholic Emancipation. This view is valid since the aim of his memoirs was to take an accurate history of the events occurring around him so he wasn't inclined to support one side over another. The passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 was a landmark event in Irish history since it removed the barriers to Catholics playing a full part in the political system. However the short term significance of the Act were minimal as although it allowed Catholics to sit as MPs, the vast majority of the population still could not vote as the Act reduced the franchise. ...read more.

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