History - Religious Reforms: How Liberal were the Tory Governments 1822-30


Repeal of the Tests and Corporations Act 1828

What was it: These laws said only Anglicans could hole important jobs in the state. Non-Anglicans = not allowed. Included 'Dissenters' (like Methodists, Presbytarians) and Roman Catholics. They'd been ignored for years, so the repeal only recognised what was already happening.

Liberal: Dissenters now permitted to hold all important jobs in state. No longer had to take Communion in an Anglican way before getting their job.

Not Liberal: Revealed restrictions applying to Catholics, who were being discrimiated against and being treated as second-class. Francis Burdett raised the issue of Catholic Emancipation in the commons but was ignored.

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Roman Catholic Emancipation 1829

What was it: 80% Ireland = Catholic but there was Protestant Ascendacy held domination. Pitt had promised RCE but had failed to do so due to George III, who felt it went against his Coronation Oath as Defender of the Anglican Faith. It was passed in the Commons twice in 1822 and 1826, was rejected in Lords. In IRL, Daniel O'Connell was leading the Catholic Association (1823), which had lots of support (1M by 1828) and funding. In 1828, O'Connell legally ran for MP in the county Clare by-election. However, it was illegal for him to take his seat. There was a risk of civil unrest by refusing him, so RCE introduced (Wellington quote), even though both Wellington and Peel were Ultras. Led to resignation of Pitt; duel between Wellington and Lord Winchelsea; Ultras felt betrayed.

Liberal:Catholics could now sit in both Houses of Parliament and hold most important offices of state. Major step towards Catholic equality.

Not Liberal: Extremely illiberal reasoning. Only passed under threat and pressure from O'Connell. Some restrictions e.g. couldn't be monarch, Lord Lieutenant (in case lead an army).

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