Lichfield House Compact

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  • Created by: amyharkin
  • Created on: 07-09-16 09:14

Why did O'Connell agree to Lichfield?

  • Rejected Repeal Bill of 1834 by HOC - no chance of success
  • Concentrated on reforms - "Justice for Ireland"
  • A productive relationship fill void of political inactivity
  • Realised no parliamentary alliance was possible w/ Tories
  • Hoped for voting threshold to be lowered, control of more councils and councils to have same powers as England
  • Wanted removal of tithe - tax payment to alien Church
  • Wanted Whigs to acknowledge professional progress made by Catholics in promotions in admin under Dublin Castle
  • Despite Emancipation - no Catholic judges/magistrates - vast majority high ranking police officers were Protestant
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Why did the Whigs agree to Lichfield?

  • The support of  O'Connellites in Parliament would secure passing of their socio-economic reforms in England
  • O'Connell's support would help oust Peel's minority gov't
  • Provided necessary parliamentary support when they were losing ground to revitalised Tory party - electoral losses
  • Much unrest in Ireland - land agitation and tithe - Whigs anticipated O'Connell would use influence over Ireland to make it easier to govern
  • Needed a pacified Ireland as domestic reform in England was their main concern
  • Whigs were more open to Irish reform as they accepted the legitimacy of many Irish grievances
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"Justice for Ireland" - O'Connell Lichfield Outcom

Each refom gained had mixed success:

  • Tithe reduced to 75% and arrears accumulated in 'Tithe War' cancelled - but Tithe was not removed
  • The Poor Law for Irish poverty using workhouses - however proved inadequate during Famine - English solution to Irish problem - OConnell dissatisfied and would have preferred public work schemes
  • Municipal Corporations Act attempted to apply 1835 Act in English gov't to Ireland, O'Connellites won control of 10 local councils, and O'Connell was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin - however English act granted vote to all rate-payers and Irish act confined to £10 freeholders; powers of councils more restricted than in England; abolished 58 Irish corporations: Act served as reminder that Ireland denied equal treatment
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Thomas Drummond O'Connell Reforms

O'Connell's greatest satisfaction in this period came with initiatives of Irish Under-Secretary Thomas Drummond - responsible of civil service - new spirit of impartiality:

  • Catholics appointed to high offices in judiciary and the Castle
  • New national police force established - Catholics encouraged to join
  • "The Irish Constabulary rapidly... reduced levels of crime"
  • The political powers of Orange Order were curbed
  • Police and army no longer used to defend claims of landlords or to collect tithes

The death of Thomas Drummond signified the end of the Whig-Irish Alliance

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Whig Lichfield Outcomes

  • Compact allowed Whigs to oust Peel from 100 day ministry
  • Enjoyed necessary parliamentary support for social reform
  • Liason - due to O'Connell's influence - eased violent tensions in Ireland re: tithe, made Ireland easier to govern
  • However liason proved political liability: O'Connell regarded with great contempt by majority of England - belief that Whigs were too influenced by O'Connell contributed to their general defeat in 1841

Irish Catholics appeared to gain little of real substance from a decade of Whig reform as each reform disappointed, with the Whigs gaining most from the Alliance as gained the one thing they most needed - Irish parliamentary support

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