Catholic Emanciption

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  • Created by: amyharkin
  • Created on: 06-09-16 09:36

Aims of Emancipation Campaign

  • O'Connell's strong  democratic belief in civic-religious liberties for Catholics
  • To end resentment due to broken promise of Emancipation from Pitt since 1801
  • To allow Catholics to participate fully in political process
  • For fairer opportunities for Catholics in judiciary/admin
  • For an improvement in Ireland's prosperity
  • As stepping stone to eventual repeal of the Act of Union
  • As a fulfilment of a debt of right due to the Catholics for their contribution towards the country
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Tactics of Emancipation Campaign

  • Establishment of Catholic Association (1823)
  • The use of the 'one penny rent' as a subscription fee
  • Enrolling the support of the Catholic Church
  • Contesting by-elections to enhance profile of the campaign
  • Organising huge monster rallies to pressurise the gov't
  • The use of rhetoric and brinkmanship against a weak gov't
  • Presenting as a cure for all socio-political grievances
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Support for Emancipation

  • Geographically: south-west/east Ireland, little in North
  • Catholic Church: religious freedom implied by emancipation
  • Peasantry: right to vote, fairer rents, land ownership
  • The Catholic middle class supported: allocation of jobs
  • Presbyterian support: repeal of Test & Corporations Acts
  • Liberals in landed aristocracy: Lord Donegal & Lansdowne
  • O'Connell attracted much support by his personality and presentation of Emancipation
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Successes & Failures of Emancipation Campaign


  • Catholics granted full civic-political rights
  • Downtrodden Catholics taken on the gov't and had won
  • Passed without any violence - "a bloodless revolution"
  • Long term: a shifting of power in Ireland
  • Protestant Ascendancy wither away as century progressed
  • Emergence of an Irish Party led by DOC - extract reforms


  • Accompany act raising 40 shilling to £10 freehold law
  • Sectarianism increase: viewed as a Catholic victory
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