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"How important was Catholic Emancipation in religion and politics in Englandand Ireland between c1820 and 1829?"

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Introduction

"How important was Catholic Emancipation in religion and politics in England and Ireland between c1820 and 1829?" Catholic Emancipation was one of the most controversial acts of Parliament ever put forth in all of British history. The main principle behind the Catholic Emancipation Act was to grant the Catholics full political and civil rights as the Protestants. This issue was raised again in England and Ireland during the 1820s and contributed to political changes and religious arguments being held in the Parliament. In this essay, I am going to examine the importance of Catholic Emancipation in England and Ireland. In England, Catholic Emancipation was important because it deepened the divisions in the Tory Parliament under Lord Liverpool. It is very important to mention that previously, in 1801, William Pitt's Tory government had fallen over this question of this Emancipation. King George III's support for the Emancipation, contrary to his coronation oath, had caused the Tory government a good deal of trouble in the past. However, the issue was raised again in 1825 and was supported by reformists like Canning, who between 1822-1825 had spoken in favour of religious liberty for nonconformists and Catholics alike. It was strongly opposed by reactionaries, like, Duke of Wellington, Liverpool and Peel. ...read more.

Middle

He was not a revolutionary and never urged a Civil War. His oratory and Irish grievances brought the Irish people together towards this issue. O'Connell formed the Catholic Association, which had an affordable fee of 1p a head. Priests also joined the Association, who proved to be important in influencing the thought of the Irish people. The members of the Association grew larger and larger and in London, this was seen as a threat to public order. The issue became further serious with O'Connell deciding to offer himself as a candidate in the by-election being fought in County Clare, Ireland in 1828. Not surprisingly, he won the seat: the majority of the voters in the constituency were Catholics, and probably members of the Association. Wellington and Peel at first decided to resist the demands of the Catholic Association and declared that O'Connell would not be allowed to take his seat in Parliament. The decision was not popular and led to demonstrations all over Ireland. However, Peel and Wellington were unwilling to turn Ireland into a battlefield for the sake of principle of resisting Catholic advance, thus, in 1829; Parliament passed the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act. The evidence portrays that the aim to pass Catholic Emancipation was the sole aim of the Irish politicians between 1820 and 1829. ...read more.

Conclusion

support by raising Irish franchise was raised from 40s to �10 in order to limit the Catholic Emancipation's effects on the Irish countryside. Finally, this Act proved to be catalyst for further political change in the constitution without it collapsing, proven by the Reform Act of 1830 by the Whig government. The issue of Catholic Emancipation occupied the minds of politicians in both England and Ireland during the 1820s. Once again, the issue proved too intense for and English government to bear, thus, led to the Tory downfall, in 1830. Irish politics prospered during the years of demonstrations for the Catholic Emancipation to be granted. The Irish politicians grew from strength to strength and received a lot of support, even from the main Tory opposition, Whigs, in England. The most important thing that Catholic Emancipation did was to establish the Catholicism as a mainstream religion, for the future. Religious equality formed the basis for the Irish demonstrators and placed Irish Roman Catholic views in the framework of contemporary events. After looking at all the evidence, we can verify that Catholic Emancipation was the chief issue in the politics and religion in England and Ireland during the period of 1820-1828. To conclude, it would be correct to say that Catholic Emancipation was a very important subject matter indeed. ...read more.

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