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Flashcards in The Making Of The Act Of Union 1800 Deck (12):

Describe the ascendancy of England in the Eighteen-Century in Ireland looking at...
Key issues in each area

Penal laws passed against Catholics after 1689: couldnt vote, sit in parliament, hold public office. Irish Catholics limited in rights to purchase/inherit land, forbidden to bear arms. Did possess religious tolerance but penal code impeded right to a Catholic education and forcd number of clergy to emigrate. Some of laws applied to Irish Dissenters - Protestants disareed with teachings of Church of England. But they possessed freedom of religion and could generaly vote. Power led to Anglican social elite dominated Irish politics, society, economy.
Land: Power stemmed from ownership of most of the land. Caholics owned only 5% of land when they formed 75% of the population. Small class of Catholic gentry did survive in the west but majority of Catholic small tenant farmers, renting land from Protestant landlords or landless labourers in appalling squalor and poverty
Religion: Other pillar od ascendnacy. Anglican Church was Established Church but only represented 5% of people of Ireland, possessed wealth, priviledges, influence. Representatives in Irish House of Lords and possessd right to collect tithes from whole population - something aroused bitter resentment among Catholics and Presbyterians. Church of Ireland regarded major instrument in English control of Ireland
Government: Ireland remained separate and dependent kingdom. But status akin to that of a colony. Administration controlled by Lord-Lieutenant, UK government representative in Ireland was generally English aristocrat and member of cabinet. Below Lord Lieutenant were ministers/officials many Englishmen who responsible for day to day running of Irish government and known collectively as the Castle, Dublin Castle was Viceroy residence. Chief Secretary responsible for getting government legislation through Irish parliament. Major task which only be accomplished successfully by building up support through lavish distribution of titles and lucrative offices controlled by government.
Parliament: Irish parliament existed since 13th century and modelled on UK, powers were limited however. Poynings Law of 1494 and Declaratory Act of 1719, Ireland subject to laws of Westminster parliament. Own parliament could only pass laws approved by UK government. Irish parliament lacked real legislative initiative, since Lord-Lietuant was nominee of UK government, Irish legislative had no control over its own executive. Irish parliament only met when summoned by the Crown. Septennial Act 1715 provided for elections at least every 7 years didnt apply to Ireland. Irish parliament did however respond to government direction. Government was forced to withdraw new Irish coinage manufactured in England because of public pressure. As a result, Protestant Nationalism born


What factors encouraged moves for reform?

Later 18th century, Proestant nationalism steadily advancing. Growing feeling in Protestant community altohugh divided by race and religion from majority of Ireland first. Conviction led in 1750s to emergence in Irish House of Commons of minority group of MPs called Patriots led by Henry Grattan. LEadership result of his personality, powers of oratory and devotion to cause. Patriots denounced subordination of Ireland to UK. Demanded commerical equality for Ireland and legislative indepdence for Irish parliament. Formation of Catholic committee in 1760 as moderate organisation for redress of Catholic grievances. In 1760s UK government ready to make concessions. Conceded that Lord Lieutenant should be permanent resident in Ireland and process of reforming patronage system begun. Octennial Act passed 1768 so elections held every 8 years. Outbreak of American War of Indepdence and French revolution which encourage process of reform affecting relationship between UK and Ireland


What impact did the American War of Indepdence have on Anglo-Irish relations?

Catholics in Ireland remained loyal to Crown during American War, won some minor improvements in penal code, Protestants more sympathetic to USA. Saw themselves suffering from subordination to parliament in Westminster. Ulster Presbyterians had strong links with America through emigration and politcial ideas of rebels exemplified by slogan No taxation without representation appealed to own radical outlook. Influence of Patriots boosted by support of Volunteer movement spranch up in 178 and numbered 30,000-40,000 members 2 years later. Volunteers pledged to repel any foreign ivnader but undoubtedly represented military arm of Protestant nationalism. UK PM Lord North recognised power wielded and government yielded to economic demands so that in 1779-80 most of restrition on Irish commerce abolished and free trade for Ireland was introduced. North resigned after UK surrendered to American rebels at Yorktown in 1782. Replaced by Lord Rockingham and Whigs who for years supported Patriots.


What is Grattans Parliament? How far did constituional reform in 1782 go towards giving Ireland indepdence from England?

By constitution of 1782, Whigs now introduced - Poynings Law and Declratory Act of 1719 repealed and Irish parliament achieved legislative independence. Crown retained a final veto over legislation, initiative belonged to Irish HOuse of Commons which could pass its own laws without consent of government in UK. Ireland is now a nation Grattan proclaimed. Irelands parlimanet however did no control over Executive and Lord Lieutenants could still contrive though with greater difficulty than previously to control commons proceedings through time honoured methods of influence, patronage and electoral corruption. For Patriots like Grattan, politicalrights for Catholics. Issue over ascendancy still divided.


What was the impact of the French Revolution in Ireland?

Outbreak of the French Revolution stimulated demand for further reform throughout Ireland, especially in Ulster where Volunteer movement remained powerful. Catholic Committee became more radical. Pitt forced further reforms on reluctant Viceroy and parliament. 1793 Catholics granted right to vote, most civil/military posts in Ireland open to them. Daniel O'Connell became member of Irish bar. Concessions did little to improve status of Irish Catholics ssince denied right to sit in parliament or hold public offie. Era of French Revolutipn placed demand for Catholic emancipation firmly on political agenda of the opposition both in Ireland and UK. Government refusal to shift position not only helped to push Catholic/Protestant radicals closer together, encouraged growth of more extreme reform movmeents. 1790s saw emergence of new and more militant organisation - Society of United Irishmen led by Wolfe Tone


KQ: How did Society of United Irishmen influence events
Who were they, why they formed, aims, achievements/failures?

ORginally formed 1791 as orgnisation of radical clubs in Ulster. Aim to influence Irish opinion in favour of Catholic emancipation/parliamentary reform. Society transformed itself in more secretive, extremist and quasi military organisation. Now appelaed deliberately to Irishmen and aimed at establishment of indepedent Irish republic. 1797, Society believed to possess more than 100,000 supporters. Wolfe Tone intensely anti UK and pro French, idea of military help from France as only means of salvation for Ireland became appealing. Notion of liberation bound to have an appeal by middle class radicals and Catholic peasantry. Led to firece outbreaks of sectarian strife in north. Number of Ulster Protestants combined to form Organge ORder based on former Volunteers to defend Protestantism and the Crown. Some Catholics turned to SoUI to defend against Protestant backlash. UK government alarmed at growth of subversive ideas in middle of major war preparing to move against IRish radicals. Wolfe Tone fled to America in 1795 and from there he made his way to Paris and plot with French authorities for invasion of Ireland. Fleet did set sail at end of 1796 and reached Bantry Bay but owing to storm forced to ithdeaw. In 1796 magistrates in Ireland began given wider powers to seize arms and arrest suspects. Forced loyalist Protestant yeomanry set up to act on behalf of government. In 1797, yeomanry force under General Lake moved against SoUI in Belfast to destroy leadership and support. Large extent, campaign of repression succeeded and yeomanry moved against UI in south. Martial Law proclaimed and the SoUI now leaderless and with organisation in disarray decided only hope was through rebellion coupled with French invasion.


What was the rebellion of 1798?
Discuss events, consequences, why, success/failure?

Rebellion broke out in 1798. Rebellion consisted of series of separate uprisings based on local grievances rather than overriding set of ideas or concerted plan. Some mebers of Ascendancy saw it as basically Catholic rebellion against Protestantism. Lowd Cornwallis, Viceroy denounced the folly of substituted Catholic instead of Jacobin as foundation of present rebellion. Only among minority in Ulster that French revolutionary ideas were important and rebellion there was limited affair. Main area where outbreak was bitte was in south east and did take form like bloody religious war. Groups of Protestants massacred by insurgents and yemonary responded in kind sometimes resorting to scorched earth policy. Rebellion had no real chance of success and after Lake victory at Vinegar Hill on 21 June, rapidly petered out. Captured rebel leaders executed or suffered trasnportation. Rebellion lasted barely a month, estimated death toll amounted to 30,000. Suggest most concentrated epsiode of violence in IRish history


What was the French invasion?
Look at key events, causes, consequences, success/failures

French landed in County Mayo in the west with barely a 1000 men and forced to surrender early September. Another French expedition including Wolfe Tone had set sail for Ireland but scattered by UK naval force and most of the ships were captured. Tone was one of the prisoners taken. Condemned to death as a rebel but cheated the hangmans noose by committing suicide at 35. Hoped for years of liberation ended with apparent triumph of forces of reaction. The life/death of Wolfe Tone and history of SoUI became part of mythology of Irish republican nationalism. Rebellion thre were fears by members of governing class both in UK/Ireland that as a result disagreements arising out of constitution of 1782, two. Countries drifting farther apart. Fears and doubts inspired events of 1798


The Act of Union: What were the arguments for and against the Act of Union

WIlliam Pitt considered possibility of union between two kingdoms coupled with Catholic Emancipation. Pitt was forced to abandon plan for combining union with emancipation owing to opposition of important and influential members of Ascendancy. Irish Parliament considered issue of union in Jan 1799 in debates and government proposal was narrowly defeated. Pitt determined to get Act passed. Paved the way for legislation by dismissing ministers and officials opposed to union and gave chief secretary task of winning over Irish public opinion. Both unionists and anti unionists attempted to build support for causes.
Arguments For: Ireland was weak link in system of imperial defence but a union would enable UK government to assume direct responsibility for defence of Ireland against rebellion and foreign invasion. Present system of government divided between London and Dublin together with separate and now independent Irish parliament, only encouraged divisions, acrimony and inefficiency. Pitt preferred to stress positive benefits in economic field. Union would enable Ireland to become part of UK economy and as Scottish union showed, produced advantages for Irish people by encouraging economic growth and prosperity. Roman Catholics would only be a minority within UK would remove fears of Protestants and make them more prepared to grant equal rights to Catholic citizens. Hatred of Irish life would be tempered by moral assimilation.
Against: based of vague feelings of Irish nationality. Insisted Ireland was separate society with own distinctive institutions and interests and posssess own independent parliament based on constitution of 1782 clearly justified its existence. Ireland now more prosperous and cultivated society, arts flourished and Dublin a major city. Argued opponents of union, Ascendnacy which helped Ireland to make progress and it was ascendancy that crushed rebellion of 1782. Destroy that indepdence and Ireland once again under the heel of UK and decline into provincial backwater. But Irish parliament only represented tiny minority of Irish people and ascnendacy continued to set its face against both emancipation and parliamentary reform. After 1798, wishe to return to status quo, some anti unionists like Grattan did support emancipation and reform but stance revealed divisions within anti unionist camp.


The passage of the act: Why did the anti unionists fail?

Anti unionists seemed to have nothing positive to offer, leading members of clergy and laity came out in support of union encouraged belief emancipation would follow. Fears of French invasion resurfaced in 1799-80 and once again produced fear and alarm and helped to shake anti unionists resolve of some members of ascendancy. What helped was unassailable position of Pitt as PM. No chance now of anti unionist administration coming to power in UK and so Pitt controlled patronage. Everything would turn on vote in Commons and Castlereagh was determined to ensure it went to governments way. Prepared the ground by employing influence pressure and bribery on massive scale to ensure that MPs voted in favour of union. Some anti unionist MPs induced to change their mind or give up seats so new MPs around 1/5 of total entered Irish Commons between Jan 1799 to 1800. When Irish parliament met again in early 1800 to reconsider motion in favour of union, consented by vote of 158 to 115. Spring both houses accepted detailed plans for Act of Union and after few amendments, Act of Union recieved royal asscent in Aug 1800.


What were the terms of the Act of Union?

Established 1st Jan 1801. Separate Irish parliament disappeared, Ireland incorporated into UK parliamentary system. HOuse of Lords added 4 Irish spiritual lords and 28 temporal lords for life by whole whole body of Irish peers. Ireland elected 100 MPs to Commons, two for each county and two each for cities of Dulin and Cork. Spiritual matters the Churches were until as Established Church of England and Ireland. Free trade established between the 2 and equal commerical privileges. Financial systems of two countries were to remain separate for time being. Ireland contribute 2/17s of expenditure of UK and UK was to contribute the rest. Legal systems and laws remained as they were.


What were the consequences of the Act of Union? How far were the hopes of the Act of Union fulfilled?

1) Political incorporaion of Ireland was half hearted affair. Ireland still treated as seperate country. Viceroy remained Crowns representative. Castle continued to administer Ireland. Chief Secretary dealt with Irish affairs in Commons on behalf of UK government
2) Protestant Ascendnacy continued to control Ireland and run local politics. Irish Protestantism built up strong economic/religious link with England came to be indentified with loyalty to Union while Catholics increasingly anti unionist
3) Pitt Plan for emancipation after union was foiled by King George III and Pitt preferred to resign in 1801 rather than engage in struggle with Crown over issue
4) Economic advantages for Ireland proclaimed by WIlliam Pitt not realised. Soon became apparent in age of UK industrial revolution, Irish industries had no chance to compete with those in UK. Nor was Ireland regarded a safe field for investment by UK bankers/businessmen. Rapid population growth led to large scale emigration from Ireland to England and Scotland.