Liverpool - Catholic Emancipation and the Collapse of the Tory Party


List the PMs after Liverpool, who died 1827

  • Liberal Canning dies
  • Liberal Robinson resigned over RCE
  • Ultra Wellington
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Why were Irish Catholics unhappy?

  • The RCE Bill was passed in 1822 and 1826 by the House of Commons, but it was rejected both times by the House of Lords. It only passed in 1829.
  • Catholics cannot hold high offices of state, such as Lieutenant, MP, Judge, Monarch
  • Pitt had been blocked with RCE in 1801
  • The restrictions on them basically made them 2nd class citizens e.g. until 1793, they could not vote, be lawyers or own firearms. The 1798 Wolfe Tone rebellion made Pitt realise he needed to make Ireland more closely linked to Britain
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What role did Daniel O'Connell and his Catholic As

  • Irish Catholic barrister/lawyer. He was determined to win emancipation and bring back Irish Parliament
  • The Catholic Association, set up 1823, was his pressure group, that was mass funded by millions of Catholics and was supported by the Catholic Church.
  • Won the County Clare by-election 1828. This was not illegal, however he could not take his seat without claiming transubstantion was false. In other words, it was illegal for him to take his seat
  • This meant the government either had to let him be MP, or arrest him. In either case, laws must be changed
  • "They must now crush us or conciliate us" - O'Connell
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Why did Wellington and Peel agree to Catholic Eman

  • They could either ban O'Connell from entering Parliament and risk a civil war -> "If I could avoid even one month of civil war, I would sacrifice my life in order to do it" - Wellington
  • The risk of civil war was too great. This means it was done illiberally.
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What changes did the Emancipation Act bring?

  • Catholics now allowed all jobs in Britian, except Lord Lieutenant, Lord Chancellor and monarch
  • Property qualification for Irish voters raised from 40 shillings (£2) to £10. As they'd been legally discriminated against for so long, this disproportionally affected them more than Protestants
  • O'Connel now a national hero
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How did it split the Tory party?

  • Liberal Canningites, like Canning, were furious that the property qualification had been increased
  • Moderate Tories, like Wellington and Peel, only passed it for practical reasons
  • Ultras were furious the act passed at all
  • Wellington challenged to duel by Ultra, Lord Winchelsea.
  • With the Tory Party now shattered, it showed they weren't fit to rule. Wellington now found it hard to gain a majority and support for Parliamentary reform grew -> Whigs becoming more popular
  • Wellington lost one of his most eloquent journalistc supporters
  • Wellington attempted to pass bill on Civil List (how much money royal family got each year). The bill was rejected - vote of no confidence in Wellington -> resigns.
  • Replaced by Whig leader, Earl Grey
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